Magnussen takes series lead with win James Thompson involved in controversial collision with Jason Watt BMW driver Jan Magnussen moved into the lead of the Danish Touringcar Championship, when he was virtually unchallenged in this season's ...
Magnussen takes series lead with win
James Thompson involved in controversial collision with Jason Watt
BMW driver Jan Magnussen moved into the lead of the Danish Touringcar Championship, when he was virtually unchallenged in this season's fifth round of the series at FDM Jyllandsringen. Winning the first heat, he subsequently climbed from eighth to fourth place in the second heat, and duly secured pole position for the final, which he also won.
However, the former Grand Prix driver was not the fastest driver on the circuit, when the racing started. That was Tom Pedersen who was initially pressing Jan Magnussen, but then was sent into a spin and way down the field, when Michel Nykjær tried a passing attempt on him. The reigning Danish and European Championship had to go through the penalty lane as a consequence, but as he was having his most competitive race meeting since his switch from a Seat Leon to a BMW 320si E90, he was soon on the tail of new second place man Henrik Lundgaard, whom he passed.
Tom Pedersen was not the only front runner who had his chances of a top result ruined by a collision.
On the opening lap Martin Jensen lost fifth position when he clashed with Jason Watt, the latter being penalized for that. But when Jason Watt had gone through the mandatory penalty line, which is situated on the outside of a hairpin, he tangled with James Thompson, who was taking the racing line at the very point, where the penalty lane rejoins the normal racing line.
"Initially, I thought it was a 50/50 situation, but having seen it on TV, I have changed my mind," the Brit says. "It was Jason Watt that had been penalized for something he had done, so he should back off, and secondly he hit my right rear wheel, so I was clearly ahead."
"I was keeping my car as close to the edge of the circuit as possible, but still Thompson just turned over," Jason Watt replied. "I was allowed to race, because there is no full stop sign at the end of the penalty lane."
Even before the incident James Thompson had been second best Honda Accord driver, as teammate Jens Møller had his best weekend for long, qualifying fifth and eventually taking third from Henrik Lundgaard in a do or die move a few laps from the chequered flag.
In the first heat Michael Outzen had moved his way up from 11th to finish 8th, thus claiming pole position for the second race, where his Chevrolet Lacetti pulled away to take an easy win from privateer Peter Ager, who finished a surprising second in this race that saw the three BMW drivers Michel Nykjær, Jan Magnussen and Tom Pedersen charge up the field.
Jan Magnussen and Michel Nykjær thus started the final from the first row, but on the rolling start Peter Ager in third stuck to the tail of Jan Magnussens bumper, thus forcing Michel Nykjær down into third place. The reigning champion then suffered a gearbox problem that suddenly slowed him and made fourth place man Jens Møller drive into him and ruining the latter driver's otherwise fine weekend.
All this allowed Jan Magnussen and Peter Ager to pull away, while Michael Outzen was holding third place from a charging Jason Watt, who had a single passing attempt, but could not get by. Then midway through the final Tom Pedersen misjudged a passing attempt on Robert Schlunssen, sending the latter into the stranded car of Kristian Poulsen and bringing out the safety car. This episode also made the circuit dirty and thus Michael Outzen was able to close the gap to Peter Ager and grab second place on the last lap. Third overall was still the career best result for Peter Ager, who took the privateer spoils in front of Jens Edman and former champion Michael Carlsen, the latter getting his best race result for three years.
At the end of the day Jan Magnussen and Michael Outzen thus had moved to first and second respectively in the standings, whereas the two other drivers in the championship quartet, Tom Pedersen and Henrik Lundgaard had moved in the other direction, the latter as a result of a broken suspension in race two.
The race meeting, however, was marred by a practice accident on Friday afternoon in one of the support classes, where Dane Jens Hansen lost control of his Porsche, hit a tyre barrier and died from the injuries he had sustained.