Casper Elgaard started title defence with a win The Team Essex driver dominated the opening round of the Danish series Casper Elgaard started a very strong title defence in the Danish Tourigncar Championship, when he won the opening round at...
Casper Elgaard started title defence with a win
The Team Essex driver dominated the opening round of the Danish series
Casper Elgaard started a very strong title defence in the Danish Tourigncar Championship, when he won the opening round at FDM Jyllandsringen. The BMW driver won the first qualification heat, moved from eight to fifth in the second, and then dominated the finale from pole position.
"It was a fantastic start to the season. Last year I felt I got a good start to the season, but this one is even better," Casper Elgaard said."
In the first of the two qualification heats, which featured rolling starts for the first time in the Danish series, Casper Elgaard made one of his usual getaways to lead team mate John Nielsen by 1.7 seconds after the opening lap. Henrik Lundgaard was holding third in one of the new Chevrolet Lacettis, but he was under heavy pressure from Jan Magnussen, who had 2006 sensation Michael Outzen in tow.
However, Casper Elgaard's lead was cancelled when the safety car was sent onto the circuit, but still the pursuers could not threaten him, as Henrik Lundgaard's Chevrolet turned out to the proverbial cork in the bottleneck. However, on the very last lap Jan Magnussen succeeded in passing him to take third.
The grid for qualification heat two was equal to the result of qualification heat one except that the top eight swap positions. Thus Kurt Thiim started from pole position, but the man on the move was Michel Nykjær, who took his Seat Leon from third to first place within three laps. Michael Outzen also managed to get past Kurt Thiim, and he closed the gap to Michel Nykjær with the result that he had trio of Michael Outzen, Kurt Thiim and John Nielsen on tow in the last third of the race, but he still managed to win.
Further down the field Casper Elgaard and Jan Magnussen had tried to progress from their grid positions. The latter hit Casper Elgaard and Henrik Lundgaard during a passing manoeuvre and was duly given a penalty lane, which moved him back to seventh, while Casper Elgaard managed to climb from eighth to fifth.
Casper Elgaard started the final from pole position with John Nielsen alongside him, and the Team Essex pair dominated the most important race to take a 1-2 win. Initially Michel Nykjær held third from Kurt Thiim and Jan Magnussen, but the latter made good progress, and midway through the race he was pushing Michel Nykjær for third. Eventually Jan Magnussen managed to find a way past on a weekend, where the 2006 runner-up did not seem to be up to his usual pace.
"Under the circumstances the result was okay, but I would have wished for more points and a better position, but there was a lot of traffic and it was difficult to progress, so the gap to the Team Essex driver was somewhat large," Jan Magnussen said. "We had a good racing car, but I couldn't really use it much, as I got stuck in traffic, but with the problems we faced, third was fine."
His teammate Jason Watt was an also-rans, after having spun out of the qualification session and damaging the rear-end of his BMW 320si E90, while Henrik Lundgaard gave Chevrolet seventh place on the make's Danish debut.
"We were a bit unlucky with the result in heat two, which didn't help our starting position for the finale, but I do feel that we have been doing a fine job," the former European Rally Champion said.