DTC: Season finale

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Touringcar racing - October 8th 2000 - Danish Touringcar Challenge: Michael Carlsen wins Danish Touringcar Challenge The DTC season ended as a dramatic and action-packed affair After the qualification race of the eight and final round of ...

Touringcar racing - October 8th 2000 - Danish Touringcar Challenge:

Michael Carlsen wins Danish Touringcar Challenge

The DTC season ended as a dramatic and action-packed affair

After the qualification race of the eight and final round of the Danish Touringcar Challenge BP Peugeot driver Michael Carlsen had firmly secured this year's title. While his McDonald's Nissan rival John Nielsen finished the qualifyer in fifth place, Carlsen won the race to secure first place overall, even though the final race at the Jyllands-Ring was still to be run.

"It is absolutely lovely. Our team has been working all season long to take the championship, yes, actually we also tried last year," said a reliefed Michael Carlsen in the break between the qualification race and the final. In 1999 the 306 driver lost the DTC title during the final stages of the season-closer, but this time the were no doubts hanging over Carlsen's drive, and no-one was in doubt that the title was well-deserved.

The final DTC race of the year turned out to be a high-tense affair. On the opening lap of the qualification heat pole-sietting Volvo S40 driver Jørgen Poulsen had a coming together with old champion Jesper Sylvest, sending the former into a half spin and down into tenth place.

"Sylvest hit me on the inside, when I took the racing line in the last corner, but he did not do it on purpose. It was a racing accident, and Sylvest and I had a word about it, and that's that," the Volvo driver said afterwards.

Thus Michael Carlsen could lead all 12 laps of the qualification race, while Pierre Legarth fought past Michael Schroter to take second place midway through the race. Further down the field John Nielsen had great difficulties matching the pace of the leaders, and he had to let Jesper Sylvest slip by before settling for fifth place just in front of Jason Watt, who had worked his way up from 16th on the grid following electrical troubles in qualifying.

The final was even more action-packed and dramatic. Having already secured the title, Carlsen seemed to relax at the start, as he rounded the first corner down in fifth place. Instead, Michael Schroter had made a perfect start, taking his Volkswagen Golf from third on the grid to lead in front of Pierre Legarth, John Nielsen and Jesper Sylvest. His lead, however, was shortlived, as Legarth outbraked him at the start of the second lap.

Further down the field Sylvest was putting pressure on Nielsen, but it was not until Jason Watt's Peugeot joined the duo that a new driver got into third. In a tandem attack Sylvest and Watt dived inside Nielsen at the end of the short straight, and in the ensuing confusion Watt managed to take both Sylvest and Nielsen, who also swopped places in the process. On the following laps Watt closed the gap to Schroter, and after having made a few attempts at passing the white Golf, he finally succeeded at the start of lap 7. Very quickly Watt got onto the tail of his race-leading team-mate Legarth, whom he passed at the end of the very same lap to take the lead.

Watt now started pulling out a lead from Legarth, who did not have any difficulties in holding second place, as Schroter was busy fending off the attacks of first Sylvest and then Nielsen, the Nissan Primera driver having passed the old champion's Xsara on lap 14. Two laps later Super John also got by Schroter to take third, and he then started to close in on Legarth, when their fight for second place suddenly was transformed to be a fight for the lead, as Watt pulled off the road with another electrical problem on the penultimate lap.

With half a lap to go Nielsen got onto the inside of Legarth at the horse shoe section of the circuit, and in the following left-hander the two drivers got into heavy contact. Legarth's car got off worse and was sent into a half spin, before it could cross the finishing line in third behind Nielsen and Schroter who had nipped by.

After the race, however, John Nielsen was given a 25 second penalty, as his attempt at passing Legarth had been done under yellow flags, and this sent the McDonald's Nissan driver down to seventh place, giving Schroter his first-ever DTC win.

"I came here to win, so I am very satisfied," the Volkswagen Golf driver said. "If I had been runner-up today, I would have been very pissed off, for now I have been running in the Danish Touringcar Challenge without a win. I am also very satisfied with my starts today. In the qualification race I moved from fifth on the grid to second, and in the final I took the lead from third place. And to be honest, I was the only driver along with Jason who drove a clean race today."

New champion Michael Carlsen did not last long in the final. Following his mediocre start he was unlucky to collect John Nielsen, when the latter got sideways, smashing his oil cooler in the process, which led to his eventual retirement.

DAMS Formula 3000 driver Kristian Kolby took fourth place in the final, having hounded Brian Mikkelsen's well-balanced Hyundai Coupe in the closing stages of the race. Occasional Panoz SRWC driver Elgaard took ninth, while Thorkild Thyrring had to retire from the qualification race, when he could not avoid hitting a spinning Elgaard. <pre> Result - Jyllands-Ringen (DK) - Round 8 - Qualification race - 12 laps of 1.475 kms:

1. Michael Carlsen                      Michael Carlsen Motorsport              Peugeot 306 GTI                    10.18,784
2. Pierre Legarth                       Peugeot Sport Team                        Peugeot 406 Coupe                10.19,364
3. Michael Schroter                     Michael Schroter                             Volkswagen Golf GTI              10.21,753
4. Jesper Sylvest                         Sylvest Motorsport                          Citroën Xsara Coupe VTS       10.22,353
5. John Nielsen                            McDonald's Nissan Racing             Nissan Primera                      10.24,036
6. Jason Watt                              Peugeot Sport Team                      Peugeot 306 GTI                    10.24,552
7. Carsten Leveau                        Team Brask Racing                        Peugeot 306 GTI                   10.25,784
8. Gunnar Kristensen                   Team Brask Racing                        Peugeot 306 GTI                   10.27,456 
9. Mike Legarth                           Legarth Racing                               BMW 320i                            10.29,241
10. Jørgen Poulsen                      S40 Racing                                    Volvo S40                            10.32,917

Fastest lap: Jason Watt, 49,885s (106,445 km/h).

Result - Jyllands-Ringen (DK) - Round 8 - Final - 20 laps of 1.475 kms:

1. Michael Schroter                      Michael Schroter                            VW Golf GTI                        17.09,142 
2. Pierre Legarth                          Peugeot Sport Team                       Peugeot 406 Coupe              17.11,922
3. Brian Mikkelsen                       Hyundai Motorsport                         Hyundai Coupe                    17.18,574
4. Kristian Kolby                          Renault Motorsport Danmark            Renault Megane St. Car       17.18,762
5. Peter Rasmussen                    VHA Trim Racing                             Fiat Coupe                          17.21,346
6. Klaus Madsen                         Team Brask Racing                          Peugeot 306 GTI                 17.29,141
7. John Nielsen                           McDonald's Nissan Racing                Nissan Primera                   17.32,832
8. Carsten Leveau                       Team Brask Racing                           Peugeot 306 GTI                 17.34,919
9. Casper Elgaard                       Renault Motorsport Danmark              Renault Megane St.car        17.35,314
10. Jesper Villumsen                   www.teamfokus.dk                            Ford Focus                         17.36,526

Fastest lap: Jason Watt, 50,013s (106,172 km/h).

Final championship positions - drivers:

1. Michael Carlsen                      Michael Carlsen Motorsport                Peugeot 306 GTI                 140,0 p.
2. John Nielsen                           McDonald's Nissan Racing                Nissan Primera                   122,5 p.
3. Michael Schroter                     Michael Schroter                               VW Golf GTI                      114,0 p.
4. Pierre Legarth                         Peugeot Sport Team                          Peugeot 406 Coupe            100,5 p.
5. Jesper Sylvest                        Sylvest Motorsport                             Citroën Xsara Coupe VTS     98,5 p.
6. Klaus Madsen                        Team Brask Racing                            Peugeot 306 GTI                 66,0 p.
7. Thorkild Thyrring                     McDonald's Nissan Racing                  Nissan Primera                   63,0 p.
8. Jason Watt                            Peugeot Sport Team                           Peugeot 306 GTI                  60,0 p.
9. Mike Legarth                          Legarth Racing                                   BMW 320i                           41,5 p.
10. Casper Elgaard                     Renault Motorsport Danmark               Renault Megane St.car         24,0 p.

Carsten Leveau Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 24,0 p.

12. Peter Rasmussen                  VHA Trim Racing                               Fiat Coupe                           23,5 p.
13. Kristian Kolby                        Renault Motorsport Danmark              Renault Megane St. Car        18,0 p.
14. Brian Mikkelsen                     Hyundai Motorsport                           Hyundai Coupe                     15,0 p.
15. Johnny V. Nielsen                  J.V. Nielsen Racing                           Peugeot 306 GTI                   11,0 p. 
16. Gunnar Kristensen                 Team Brask Racing                           Peugeot 306 GTI                   9,5 p.
17. Jørgen Weinreich                   Valvoline Racing                                Seat Cordoba 2,0 16V            9,0 p.

Jørgen Poulsen S40 Racing Volvo S40 9,0 p.

19. Kurt Thiim                             Team Hohenester                              Volkswagen Beetle                 8,5 p.
20. Allan Bjerregaard                   Allan Bjerregaard                               Ford Focus                            5,0 p.
      Jens Andersen S40 Racing Volvo S40 5,0 p.
22. Jesper Villumsen                   www.teamfokus.dk                             Ford Focus                            1,5 p.
23. Kent Bo Steffensen                S40 Racing                                       Volvo S40                              1,0 p.

Final championship positions - makes:

1. Peugeot                           212,0 p.
2. Nissan                             147,0 p.
3. Volkswagen                     118,0 p.
4. Citroën                              98,5 p.
5. BMW                                41,5 p.
6. Renault                              38,5 p.
7. Fiat                                    23,5 p.
8. Hyundai                             15,0 p.
9. Volvo                                 14,0 p.
10. Seat                                  9,0 p.
11. Ford                                  6,0 p.

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