Magnussen wins, but Elgaard leads the series The 2005 DTC series could see a repetition of the 2003 battle The 2005 edition of the Danish Touringcaar Championship looks to become a battle of champions following Sunday's opening round...
Magnussen wins, but Elgaard leads the series
The 2005 DTC series could see a repetition of the 2003 battle
The 2005 edition of the Danish Touringcaar Championship looks to become a battle of champions following Sunday's opening round of the series at Jyllandsringen. Reigning champion Casper Elgaard kicked off his title defence by winning the pre-final of the meeting, while 2003 winner Jan Magnussen got ample help from new teammate Henrik Lundgaard to take the prestigious final, thus making a repeat of the pair's 2003 title battle highly possible.
This year's Danish Touringcar Championship has attracted a massive 25 entry, and Saturday's timed practice gave the first indication that the series will be a closely fought affair, as the top 18 drivers qualified within 1.5 seconds!
Following the single lap shoot out for the top 12 qualifiers Michel Nykjær had planted his Seat Toledo on pole position for the pre-final, but a disastrous getaway saw the young hot shoe of the series being swamped by the top third of the field. Instead, Casper Elgaard made a safe start to take an easy lead from his old 2004 rival, Henrik Lundgaard, while John Nielsen, Swede Jens Edman and top privateer Jens Møller filed into the next positions. However, the latter driver was soon passed by Jan Magnussen, who had only managed to put in an average start, but still managed to progress in the field.
But Jan Magnussen was not alone in making up places. While Casper Elgaard more or less disappeared into the distance, his Team Essex Invest team mate John Nielsen took second from Henrik Lundgaard and also managed to build up a small cushion to the Toyota driver. However, the man on the move was Michel Nykjær. The first corner of Jyllandsringen is his preferred place of overtaking, and overtaking the youngster did, moving from ninth to fifth within five laps with four daring manoeuvres.
The next driver to overtake was Jan Magnussen, England, and the former Grand Prix driver proved a somewhat harder nut to crack. However, Michel Nykjær was nonplussed about the task ahead, and following a few unsuccessful attempts, he took fourth place on the penultimate lap of the pre-final.
With the top five drivers having their starting positions reversed for the final, Jan Magnussen found himself on pole position, and this he exploited in the most perfected way, by taking the lead from Henrik Lundgaard, thus giving the new Team Den Blå Avis its first 1-2 lead in the series. The drivers to chase the Toyota pair were John Nielsen, Casper Elgaard and Michel Nykjær, but the challenge from the latter soon faded, as he had to park his Seat Toledo with a broken clutch.
While Jan Magnussen disappeared into the distance, Henrik Lundgaard fought to keep second place, as he was under severe pressure from John Nielsen, who again had his protege Casper Elgaard on his bumber. But Lundgaard managed to safe-guard Magnussen's lead, and as John Nielsen simply could not find a way past, Casper Elgaard was getting impatient in fourth, eventually trying to find a way past his teammate.
However, following several laps of hard attacks the BMW duo of Nielsen and Elgaard finally managed to pass Lundgaard, but even though they managed to move away from the 2004 runner-up, they could still not close the gap to Jan Magnussen, who took his first DTC win since 2003! However, his third place combined with the win in the pre-final means that Casper Elgaard is leading the series by a mere point from John Nielsen, while Jan Magnussen is just a further three points behind in third.