Mike Legarth took a narrow win from John Nielsen; The two BMW drivers ran nose to tail for most of the second DTC race. Two different manufacturers dominated the races of round three of the Danish Touringcar Championship held at Jyllands-Ringen...
Mike Legarth took a narrow win from John Nielsen; The two BMW drivers ran nose to tail for most of the second DTC race.
Two different manufacturers dominated the races of round three of the Danish Touringcar Championship held at Jyllands-Ringen on Sunday. In race one Jan Magnussen and Jason Watt gave Peugeot a one-two win, while Mike Legarth and John Nielsen had a race-long battle in their BMWs which eventually finished in that order.
Despite carrying 80 kilos of ballast Jason Watt had placed his Peugeot 307 GTI on pole position during the Super Pole session, but at the word go, he was somewhat slow at the getaway and instead Jan Magnussen took the lead. BMW 320i E36 driver Mike Legarth and Honda Civic Type-R runner Henrik Larsen were next up, but midway through lap one Team Brask driver Gunnar Kristensen had an off, which meant that the safety car was sent onto the track.
When racing again resumed Magnussen simply pulled away from his competitors and took his second race win of the season. Behind him, however, Jason Watt had to fight to keep K-motorsport driver Henrik Larsen at bay, as Mike Legarth was given a stop-and-go penalty for a jumped start. However, this enabled the latter to go for a perfect lap time that eventually gave him second place on the grid for race two, where he would split Magnussen and Manor Motorsport F3 regular Ronnie Bremer, who had made a lot of passing manouvres in his ex-Magnussen 306.
The second race looked like a carbon copy of race one with Magnussen getting a perfect getaway and edging out a lead. However, on lap nine a radiator tube in the cockpit burst, sending out 90oC hot water over Magnussen's feet, which suffered skin burns.
Behind Magnussen there had been action aplenty. Henrik Larsen initially held second place from Mike Legarth and a charging John Nielsen, but during lap three he had to park his JAS-built Civic with a broken potentiometer. In the meantime John Nielsen had succeeded in slipping past Mike Legarth, but the latter would have none of this, and almost at the same time as Magnussen retired he dived inside John Nielsen to take what would soon be first place.
For the remaining eleven laps John Nielsen tried every move in the book to find a way past Mike Legarth, but to no avail, and the latter thus could take his second win from four race weekends (he also won the 2001 final).
"Following my stop-and-go penalty in race one, it was really nice to win this one," Legarth said after the race. "John and I had a hard, but fair and decent battle. We used every possible trick, but it was an honourable duel that we could be proud of."
Nielsen, however, was disappointed to take the runner-up spot by half a second.
"My engine had a misfire, and having run faultlessly on one lap, it would suddenly only run of five cylinders on the next lap," John Nielsen explained. "Every time I had a chance of getting past Mike, the engine started to misfire. And when I finally got some opportunities to pass, Mike closed the door."
Following his second place in race one, Jason Watt could only look on in third place as the two BMW drivers fought for victory. However, third place meant that the former Formula 3000 driver took over the championship lead from Kurt Thiim, who broke the engine of his Toyota Corolla during race one.
After the race Team Essex Invest and BMW Motorsport lodged protests against Mike Legarth and Ronnie Bremer, claiming that they had been too late in returning to the circuit from the pitstop between race one and two. However, the stewards of the meeting turned down that protest.