John Nielsen: "I was right at the limit" Jason Watt had to retire from a fine fourth with technical problems John Nielsen traveled to next weekend's Le Mans 24 Hour race with the best possible ballast. At the Jyllands-Ring on Whit Monday the ...
John Nielsen: "I was right at the limit"
Jason Watt had to retire from a fine fourth with technical problems
John Nielsen traveled to next weekend's Le Mans 24 Hour race with the best possible ballast. At the Jyllands-Ring on Whit Monday the McDonald's Nissan driver finally won his first win in this year's edition of the Danish Touringcar Challenge. But Super John did not have an easy time. Both in the qualification race as well as in the final he was hard pressured by Mike Legarth and Jesper Sylvest respectively.
"I was right at the limit, and especially Jesper Sylvest put a lot of pressure on me. No matter what I tried I could not wrest him of, as he kept staying to my tail," John Nielsen explained after the his win.
"Morally it is splendid that I can travel to Le Mans following this win. It was a really close race, but the win today is a clear development of our performance a fortnight ago at Ring Djursland, but luckily it did not end in tears this time."
In the qualification race John Nielsen led from start to finish, having been pressured by Mike Legarth's rear-wheel driven BMW 320i, until the latter spun out with three laps to ago. Instead Michael Carlsen and Jesper Sylvest took up pursuit. In the final Michael Carlsen blew all his chances with a tardy start, and it was thus left to Jesper Sylvest to follow John Nielsen. This he did with effect, and although John Nielsen never got a lead of more than a second, he nevertheless managed to lower his lap times.
But the performance of the day was delivered by Jason Watt, who finally got his comeback to professional motor racing. In his specially-equipped Peugeot 306 GTI he was a member of the leading group, and having finished the qualification race in sixth place, he sadly had to retire from fourth place with mechanical problems with five laps to go.
"It is the gearbox that causes problems," Jason Watt explained after the race. "The problem is that it selects a gear too much when going up or down, and after several such occurances the drive shafts simply cried enough. During the final I was closing up on my team mate Pierre Legarth in third, but as soon as I had a good lap, the gear shift caused me problems."
Despite his retirement from the race Jason Watt got a big applause from his home audience, who had come to watch his comeback. The former Formula 3000 star himself was also satisfied with the result.
"It went better than expected, but being a racing driver as I am, you always want to win", he confessed. "I have had a perfect race weekend, and it's marvellous to get confirmation that the ability that I previously held in my feet has now been transferred to my hands, and that it is the car that fails in the end. Had it been the other way round, it would have been awful!"
Reigning champion Jesper Sylvest finished in second place with his Citroën Xsara Coupé VTS, which was far more competitive this time. But it is still Michael Carlsen, who is the leader in the Danish Touringcar Challenge, even though he was last off the line in the final, ending in sixth place only.
"The car simply died on me, when the lights turned to green, as my Peugeot is very difficult to start without first gear. That's life," the 306 driver stated.
The Danish Touringcar Challenge drivers now go on a well-deserved summer holiday, as the DTC battle will not commence until August 13th with fourth round of the series at Ring Djursland.
<pre> Result - Round 3 – Qualification race – 12 laps of 1.475 kms:
1. John Nielsen McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 10.15,410 2. Michael Carlsen Michael Carlsen Motorsport Peugeot 306 GTI 10.17,094 3. Jesper Sylvest Sylvest Motorsport Citroën Xsara Coupé VTS 10.18,797 4. Casper Elgaard Renault Motorsport DanmarkRenault Megane St.car 10.20,528 5. Pierre Legarth Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 406 Coupé 10.24,010 6. Jason Watt Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 306 GTI 10.24,607 7. Michael Schröter Michael Schröter Volkswagen Golf GTI 10.25,175 8. Kurt Thiim Team Hohenester Volkswagen Beetle 10.25,826 9. Jørgen Poulsen S40 Racing Volvo S40 10.26,207 10. Mike Legarth Legarth Racing BMW 320i 10.33.366
Fastest lap: Michael Schröter, 50,173s (105,834 km/h).
Result – Round 3 – Final – 20 laps of 1.475 kms:
1. John Nielsen McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 19.30,858 2. Jesper Sylvest Sylvest Motorsport Citroën Xsara Coupé VTS 19.31,937 3. Pierre Legarth Peugoet Sport Team Peugeot 406 Coupé 19.38,598 4. Casper Elgaard Renault Motorsport DenmarkRenault Megane St.car 19.41,689 5. Mike Legarth Legarth Racing BMW 320i 19.43,965 6. Michael Carlsen Michael Carlsen Motorsport Peugeot 306 GTI 19.47,072 7. Kurt Thiim Team Hohenester Volkswagen Beetle 19.49,416 8. Gunnar Kristensen Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 19.49,819 9. Carsten Leveai Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 19.56,277 10. Michael Schröter Michael Schröter VW Golf GTI -1 lap
Fastest lap: John Nielsen, 50,170s (105,834 km/h).
1. Michael Carlsen Michael Carlsen Motorsport Peugeot 306 GTI 66,0 p. 2. Jesper Sylvest Sylvest Motorsport Citroën Xsara Coupé VTS 52,0 p. 3. John Nielsen McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 50,0 p. 4. Michael Schröter Mihcael Schröter VW Golf GTI 36,0 p. 5. Thorkild Thyrring McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 27,5 p. 6. Pierre Legarth Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 406 Coupé 27,0 p. 7. Mike Legarth Legarth Racing BMW 320i 26,5 p. 8. Casper Elgaard Renault Motorsport DanmarkRenault Megane St.car 16,5 p. 9. Klaus Madsen Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 16,0 p. 10. Carsten Leveau Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 15,5 p. 11. Kurt Thiim Team Hohenester Volkswagen Beetle 8,5 p. 12. Jørgen Poulsen S40 Racing Volvo S40 5,5 p. 13. Gunnar Kristensen Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 5,0 p. 14. Peter Rasmussen VHA Trim Racing Fiat Coupé 4,0 p. 15. Jason Watt Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 306 GTI 3,0 p. 16. Allan Bjerregaard Allan Bjerregaard Ford Focus 2,5 p. 17. Kent Bo Steffensen S40 Racing Volvo S40 1,0 p. Johnny V. Nielsen J.V. Nielsen Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 1,0 p.