Second Ring Djursland win for Kurt Thiim. The battle for the championship is now even more exciting. For the second time this season Toyota driver Kurt Thiim won the main race of the Danish Touringcar Championship at the hilly Ring ...
Second Ring Djursland win for Kurt Thiim.
The battle for the championship is now even more exciting.
For the second time this season Toyota driver Kurt Thiim won the main race of the Danish Touringcar Championship at the hilly Ring Djursland, having started from the back row of the sprint race, as a clashing V8 Star commitment at Salzburgring had prevented him from taking part in qualifying.
Fastest driver of the day, however, was Jan Magnussen. The ALMS regular took pole position by a land mile, and at the start of the sprint race he converted this to a lead in front of Casper Elgaard, Mike Legarth and Henrik Lundgaard. The latter's position, however, was challenged by Henrik Larsen on the opening lap, and the resulting clash between the pair saw Larsen's K-motorsport Civic retire with deranged front suspension.
As Larsen's car was left stranded on the exit of a fast right-hander, the safety car was sent onto the circuit. Magnussen timed the restart to perfection and again he romped away into a lead with Casper Elgaard and Mike Legarth battling for second, while Henrik Lundgaard's inexperience of making restarts behind a safety car showed, as he lost the tow to Mike Legarth. However, the latter couldn't keep up with the pace of Elgaard so he fell into the hands of Lundgaard, who moved by him on lap 11. Then he was pressured by John Nielsen, who faked an overtaking attempt on the exit of the hairpin, only to surprise Legarth by passing him on the inside.
At the rear Kurt Thiim had quickly made up ground in the opening laps, but then he got onto the tail of Thorkild Thyrring, Carsten Leveau and Gunnar Kristensen. The Team Brask trio defended their positions to perfection, so Thiim spent several laps finding a way by them, ending the sprint race in tenth position. Despite his hard work Thiim still managed to set fifth quickest lap time and thus qualify for a main race grid position on row three.
In the final Magnussen's getaway was a bit hesitant, but he still held first position when the field reached the hairpin. Here Casper Elgaard got inside Henrik Lundgaard, and as John Nielsen also followed suit, Lundgaard tangled with the guard rail, while teammates Elgaard and Nielsen also had a small brush.
Kurt Thiim used the confusion to perfection to leap into third position behind Magnussen and Nielsen, while Lundgaard lost ground due to deranged suspension. Once again Magnussen opened up a sizeable lead, while behind him Thiim found a way to get past Nielsen. However, Thiim's second place was suddenly transformed into the race lead, as Magnussen had to retire with engine trouble.
Now it was Thiim who had a cushion to his rivals, where John Nielsen was challenged by Pierre Legarth, who had made a perfect getaway to go from eighth to third place within the first quarter of the race. Likewise, championship leader Jason Watt was also making up ground, having retired from the sprint race due to fuel fumes in the cockpit, and he spent most of the final holding Casper Elgaard and Martin Jensen at bay.
With five laps to go Pierre Legarth made a half-hearted attempt at passing John Nielsen, but he opted to go for a safe and secure third place and dropped a bit behind. Surprise of the meeting was the younger brother of four-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, Jacob Kristensen, who once again was the best driver for the K-motorsport team, taking a sixth and eighth place respectively.