Nykjær claimed first Danish Seat title
John Nielsen and Casper Elgaard got fine finish to DTC career
The 2007 Danish Touringcar Championship is Michel Nykjær. That was the conclusion after the second of three races on Sunday at FDM Jyllandsringen. At that time the Seat Leon had amassed so many points that neither Jan Magnussen nor John Nielsen could catch him at the top of the points table.
"It was so nice," Michel Nykjær sighed, when celebrating the championship. "After the first heat we had calculated on our position and predicted that if we could finish in front of John in the second heat, then the title would be ours, and as he was starting in eighth position and we were starting second, the options looked good."
The first of the three heats had quite a calm start to it, as all drivers seemed to play a waiting game, with John Nielsen and Casper Elgaard holding onto a secore 1-2 Team Essex lead in front of the Chevrolet twins of Pontus Morth and Henrik Lundgaard. Michel Nykjær was further down the field, while Jan Magnussen found it difficult making progress from a lowly 12th place grid position. But then midways through the race, things suddenly changed.
Jan Magnussen got stuck in a very intense battle with newly crowned privateer champion Michael Outzen, and often during the race the two drivers were not having all four wheels on the tarmac, the end result being a collision which sent Michael Outzen into a spin, making Jan Magnussen's championship hopes no good either.
With the top eight positions reversed on the grid for race two, Kurt Thiim led this race in front of Michel Nykjær and Tom Pedersen, and the latter driver was quite obviously the fastest one, as he managed to get past Michel Nykjær. But race one winner John Nielsen did not really make progress from his starting position as number eight, as his alternator broke down and made the use of the car's power-steering impossible.
"It is difficult to say how much it slowed me down, but personally I am convinced that I could have closed the gap to Michel Nykjær and won the race," John Nielsen said. "But that is academic now, because Michel is a worthy champion."
With the name of the title holder settled for the final, there was still a battle for second and third place in the championship between Jan Magnussen and John Nielsen. The former moved up from eighth on the grid to finish fifth, while John Nielsen gained the lead from team mate and out-going champion Casper Elgaard with three laps to go, eventually clinching the runner-up-position in front of Jan Magnussen.
"Based on our situation this was probably as far as we could get," Jan Magnussen said. "Everybody was racing hard, not making it easy for me. Some drivers were helpful in the traffic, others not at all. But that is forgotten tomorrow."
With the 1-2 finish in its last DTC appearance Team Essex clinched the team's title.