Elgaard retook title after thrilling DTC final With a mere six points separating the two championship rivals before Sunday's race at Jyllandsringen the Danish Touringcar Championship final could have turned out to be a tactical and boring affair.
Elgaard retook title after thrilling DTC final
With a mere six points separating the two championship rivals before Sunday's race at Jyllandsringen the Danish Touringcar Championship final could have turned out to be a tactical and boring affair. But it didn't. Both Casper Elgaard and Jan Magnussen decided to forget the tactics to race instead, and after two thrilling races it all ended with an even narrower margin between them -- merely three points -- so Casper Elgaard could take a record third championship in a row.
As ever the two championship candidates were backed up by their team colleagues Henrik Lundgaard and John Nielsen, but the latter's chances soon evaporated when he suffered transmission failure just before the start. Henrik Lundgaard, however, ended up playing a very central role.
At the start of the pre-final he soon put pressure on Casper Elgaard who had taken the lead, and when the soon-to-be champion started sliding on some dirt in a corner, Henrik Lundgaard mounted an attack and moved by. But despite having one of the lightest cars in the field Henrik Lundgaard did not pull away but kept the pace at a rate where Jan Magnussen could catch up and move onto the rear fender of Casper Elgaard. Even though the pair actually touched, Jan Magnussen never got by.
The top five swopped positions for the grid of the final, where privateer Michael Outzen took the lead from Jan Magnussen, who was followed by Casper Elgaard and Henrik Lundgaard. The latter pair soon swopped places, but even though fourth would be enough to retake the title, Casper Elgaard did not want to stick with that. At the end of the straight he got alongside Henrik Lundgaard and the pair followed side by side for a quarter of a mile, before he got by.
"I have a better feeling when I am driving my own race in my own, usual way, and then take it from there," Casper Elgaard explained afterwards. "If you do start to relax and hold back, then you will start making mistakes that will enable others to catch up with you."
While Casper Elgaard was unable to catch Jan Magnussen, the latter closed the gap to Michael Outzen. Although the privateer defended his position quite well, Jan Magnussen nevertheless dared a risky attack at the end of the straight, which he succeeded in performing. Later Michael Outzen was also caught by Casper Elgaard and Henrik Lundgaard, who eventually swapped positions when Casper Elgaard decided to be on the safe side in taking his record breaking third DTC crown.
"It wasn't until the end of the race that I could afford to do that," Casper Elgaard. "To win three years in a row has been fantastic for me. A great thanks to the team for giving me a car three years in a row with which I can win. That means a lot for me to win this year, where we have been battling with equal equipment."
For Jan Magnussen Sunday ended with yet another final victory -- his sixth this year. That is a new record for a driver in a season and he also equaled the 13 final victories that John Nielsen has.
"It is funny so disappointed you can be following a win," Jan Magnussen said after a day, where he scored three points more than Casper Elgaard, but nevertheless lacked the four points with which he could have beaten him.
"In the final I did, what I could do, but I really should have gotten past Casper in the pre-final to have been able to stand any chance. In the final we were not good enough to make things work properly internally between Henrik and I."
After having led most laps in the final Michael Outzen took fourth place to end up as the weekend's top privateer. But even though he scored maximum points, he only managed to reduce Philip Andersen's points lead in the privateer cup from 21 to 10 points. Casper Elgaard's Team Essex took the teams championship in front of Jan Magnussen's Den Blå Avis Fleggaard Racing, while Michel Nykjær's two sixth places meant that Seat Racing Team could take third position, just two points ahead of Hartmann Honda Racing, who had a miserable day.
Welter Le Mans driver Julien Briche was the first Frenchman to drive in the Danish Touringcar Championship. Aboard a Peugeot 407 he retired from the first race following a collision with Tom Pedersen and Rene Rasmussen, while he ended the final in 17th position. * Nicki Thiim, the 17-year-old son of former DTM champion and DTC regular Kurt Thiim, became the youngst driver ever to win the Danish Formel Ford Championship. As he was also the post under-21 driver, he has won an entry in the Formula Ford Festival for RaySport. * Former DTC drivers Kasper Jensen and Per Poulsen took the top two position of the Renault Clio Cup, having split all the series wins between them during the year.