Championship battle goes down the wire Toyota took two race wins, but Casper Elgaard narrowed the gap The battle for this year's Danish Touringcar Championship will not be decided until the final round of the series at...
Championship battle goes down the wire
Toyota took two race wins, but Casper Elgaard narrowed the gap
The battle for this year's Danish Touringcar Championship will not be decided until the final round of the series at Jyllands-Ringen on October 3rd. That is the conclusion following this weekend's seventh round of the series at Padborg Park, which saw Toyota win in both the pre-final and final. But as it was not the same driver who took the two Toyota wins, title challenger Casper Elgaard could instead close in on series leader Henrik Lundgaard, whose championship lead was narrowed down to just 10 points!
The Toyota driver started the pre-final from pole position and as teammate Jens Edman managed to fend off the opposition, he could romp into a lead he was never to loose despite heavy pressure from Martin Jensen in second place. Casper Elgaard also made a good start and shot from seventh to third place, but as Jens Edman collided with him the BMW driver went down to fifth position, which then meant he had pole position for the final with Henrik Lundgaard starting a couple of rows further back.
In the final Casper Elgaard made yet another great start and actually managed to build up a small cushion to Jens Edman, when the two drivers suddenly swopped positions in the far end of the circuit.
"In Big Mag corner I braked a little bit to late," Casper Elgaard explained afterwards. "I had problems getting the right temperature in my tyres. I don't know whether the circuit had changed after the short rain shower, but it did not suit our car any longer. The front tyres were virtually cold, and when Edman pressed me and I made a minor mistake when braking, I choose to let him slip by in order not to put anything at risc."
For Jens Edman it was a matter of exploiting the situation, when it arose.
"The BMWs are always good at the start, while we need a couple of laps, before we have the right tyre temperature, so my tactics were to put pressure on, as we also tend to loose pace at the end of the race," the eventual winner of the final said. "I put the pressure on Casper who then did a minor mistake, and then I got by. But apart from the lap, I drove as fast as I could."
While Jens Edman pronounced himself the happiest Swede in Denmark, teammate Henrik Lundgaard was the unluckiest Toyota driver at Padborg Park, where he had to retire on the fourth lap following a couple of collisions.
"This weekend has been good with pole position and I also got a decent start in the final," Henrik Lundgaard said. He then had to fight hard to challenge Martin Jensen in fourth position. "I tried to find the right time, but as I was shadowing Martin Jensen, I was rammed on my rear wheel by Kurt Thiim, who had been pushed by Jason Watt, so it wasn't really his fault."
Initially Henrik Lundgaard could continue after the contact, but his car had become unstable with the result that he made contact with Michel Nykjær so that both driver retired.
The championship positions still remain provisional. A forthnight ago Casper Elgaard and Michel Nykjær were initially given 30 second penalities as their cars were making too much noise, but as the appeal court hasn't yet taken place, the two drivers have provisionally been reinstated in order for ballast weights to be calculated fairly for this seventh round of the series. The appeal court decision, however, will be made before the final round of the series.