Jan Magnussen outqualified all of his rivals. The timed practice for the third DTC round was a closely fought affair. Jan Magnussen was the absolute pace setter during qualifying for the third round of the Danish Touringcar Championship at ...
Jan Magnussen outqualified all of his rivals.
The timed practice for the third DTC round was a closely fought affair.
Jan Magnussen was the absolute pace setter during qualifying for the third round of the Danish Touringcar Championship at Jyllands-Ringen. In fact the former Stewart Grand Prix driver was so fast that he elected to park his Peugeot 307 GTI after two thirds of the 20 minute session.
"I think my present lap time will be sufficient," was the first comment from the winner of round one. "Until now everything has been running according to plan. The car drive beautifully, but in this heat I could imagine that people will be getting trouble with their tyres, especially for race two. You simply won't be able to go pedal to the metal during both races, you have to be careful."
Jan Magnussen was right in his decision to stop early. His time was sufficient to give him an over night pole position, as the top eight qualifyers go on to the Super Pole session at noon on Sunday. Magnussen's lap time was 0.4 seconds better than runner-up, fellow Peugeot 307 GTI driver Jason Watt, but behind Watt things were really close. Less than four tenths of a second split Watt's second place from championship leader Kurt Thiim in eleventh place, and it thus meant that the latter will miss out on the Super Pole.
"I knew it would be difficult running with 80 extra kilos, but not that it would be so difficult--", a deeply disappointed Thiim said afterwards.
"I had hoped for a top eight position, but it was so close that a tenth of a second would have meant that I would have been sixth or seventh! That says a lot about the present level for the Danish Touringcar Championship, so the rest of the season is going to be really tough!"
Up-and-coming driver Martin Jensen -- who is backed by the party of the Danish Prime Minister -- was also disappointed. Abord his ex-Watt 306 he had been a regular top six runner during the free practice, but a mere 0.03 second meant that he too missed the Super Pole.
"There was too much traffic on the circuit," the young talent explained. "Every time I was on a flyer, I ended up behind somebody else, who wouldn't give me room. I would have qualified if there had been less traffic."
A driver who will be making his first appearance in the Super Pole tomorrow will be 1999 champion Jesper Sylvest, who has lacked pace in his Citroën Xsara in the two opening rounds of the series.
"I never really expected that sixth position in a timed practice would give me such a happy feeling," the lanky driver said.
"I didn't really reckon that I stood any changes before the weekend. Either I would end up as 25th or I would have a good weekend. Magnussen is untouchable, but my mechanics have done a tremendous job, and I'm sure that I will have the speed tomorrow. I think that we will see the return of the Old Sylvest, so a top four result tomorrow is likely."