Touringcar racing - August 13th 2000 - Danish Touringcar Challenge: Michael Carlsen extended his DTC lead with a win Jason Watt punted of following clash with fellow competitor BP sponsored Michael Carlsen extended his lead in the Danish ...
Touringcar racing - August 13th 2000 - Danish Touringcar Challenge:
Michael Carlsen extended his DTC lead with a win
Jason Watt punted of following clash with fellow competitor
BP sponsored Michael Carlsen extended his lead in the Danish Touringcar Challenge after having dominated Sunday's fourth round of the series at Ring Djursland. Pole position and lights-to-flag wins in both the qualification race and the final meant that the Peugeot 306 driver could extend his lead in the championship.
"It has been a really good weekend for the team," Carlsen said after the win. "The car has been handling well, but we have also been lucky, as we would not have had it as easily had it not been for John Nielsen having to use a spare engine."
Second place in the final went to Volkswagen Golf driver Michael Schröter who passed John Nielsen at the start and kept him behind. Several times Nielsen tried to regain the lost second place, but in vain, and the former Le Mans winner did not even manage to exploit a safety car situation during the race.
"I had expected that the safety car would do another lap, so I had not calculated with it leaving so early, and when I finally realized it, it was too late to get momentum in the engine, so both Carlsen and Schröter had disappeared," Nielsen explained.
"It is somewhat annoying that Carlsen won today, as the win made it possible for him to extend his lead in the championship. It's irritating, as when we arrived at Ring Djursland, we really felt that the cars were competitive and that we were on the pace, but then my best engine blew during timed practice. Unfortunately the spare engine was something of a mule, which had done several thousand miles, and although it did not bring me to the top, it brought me home."
At the finishing line John Nielsen was followed by fellow McDonald's Nissan driver Thorkild Thyrring, who had done a good job, after he was rammed into a spin early in the qualification race by the reigning champion, Jesper Sylvest, who suffered from fading brakes. Thyrring thus had to use the rest of the two heats to work his way up through the field.
Another team at war was the official Peugeot Sport Team. At the start of the final their two drivers, Pierre Legarth and Jason Watt, touched, sending the latter into a spin, while Legarth later had to retire with electrical gremlins. But Watt's problems did not end there. A few laps later the former Formula 3000 star was rammed from behind in the Paddock Bend by Allan Bjerregaard, whose Ford Focus hit Watt so hard that the latter's Peugeot 306 GTI almost finished on top of an embankment.
"I don't know what he is thinking of, because he is not hitting me once, he is not hitting me twice, he is hitting me three times," Watt fumed afterwards. "I had outbraked him, but when he ran into me, he just kept the pedal to the metal and shoved me onto the embankment."
"Jason took a wide line into the corner," rival Bjerregaard explained, "so I tried to pass him on the inside, but he did not stick to his line, and just drove into my line. The faults are perhaps 50-50, but I would of course like to give him an apology for what happened."
DAMS Formula 3000 driver Kristian Kolby got his DTC debut in the race. Having flown in from Saturday's race at the Hungaroring, he started the qualification race dead last with his Renault Megane Stationcar, but nevertheless managed to work his way up into the points, when he had to park the car with a bent valve.
Round 5 of the Danish Touringcar Challenge takes place at the Jyllands-Ring on Saturday, September 2nd.
<pre> Result - Round 4 - Qualification race - 10 laps of 1.750 kms:
1. Michael Carlsen Michael Carlsen Motorsport Peugeot 306 GTI 9.40,616
2. John Nielsen McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 9.41,487
3. Michael Schrumlter Michael Schröter Volkswagen Golf GTI 9.42,815
4. Jason Watt Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 306 GTI 9.46,281
5. Pierre Legarth Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 406 Coup