Touringcar Racing - June 10th 2001 - Danish Touringcar Championship: Magnussen takes first DTC win at oily Jyllands-Ringen There was drama aplenty as cars skidded on and off the circuit Panoz ALMS driver Jan Magnussen took not only his first...
Touringcar Racing - June 10th 2001 - Danish Touringcar Championship:
Magnussen takes first DTC win at oily Jyllands-Ringen
There was drama aplenty as cars skidded on and off the circuit Panoz ALMS driver Jan Magnussen took not only his first win in the Danish Touringcar Championship, but also his first win ever at Denmark's premier circuit, when he won round three of the series at Jyllands-Ringen. But despite having led both the qualification race as well as the final from start to finish, things very far from easy for Big Mag.
"It might have looked easy, but it wasn't," the former Stewart Grand Prix driver said after his win. "I pressed as hard as I could, but I was very unlucky with the safety car period during the final, as it took away my cushin. And with four laps to go, my front brakes stopped working properly, but luckily I had a healthy lead and could take the win."
Twice during the weekend the clerk of the course had to put in the safety car. The first time happened right at the start of the first race, when Jens Andersen got into contact with Peter Rasmussen's Fiat Coupe, sending the former's Volvo S40 right into the side of teammate Martin Jensen. Before that happened Jan Magnussen had exchanged his pole position to a firm lead from Casper Elgaard, who never managed to get close enough to mount a challenge. Behind them, however, things were hotting up, as Mike Legarth's third-placed BMW 320i was being closely pursued by Jason Watt, but the latter's Peugeot 306 GTI did not manage to find a way past.
Reigning champion and leader of the series Michael Carlsen found it difficult to be competitive, as he was carrying 60 kilos of ballast, and he thus spent most of the qualifying race battling with Team Brask drivers Kent Bo Lauridsen and Carsten Leveau.
In the final Jan Magnussen again romped into a lead he was never to loose. Behind him Mike Legarth and Casper Elgaard battled hard for second place, clashing in the process and sending both cars further down the field, where Elgaard soon had to retire with a broken water line. Thus Jason Watt was promoted to second place in front of Gunnar Kristensen, Michael Carlsen, fast-starting Volvo star, Per Poulsen, and Kent Bo Lauridsen.
The latter driver soon started to progress, passing Poulsen, while Michael Carlsen started to put pressure on Watt, who was finding it difficult to keep up the pace in his Statoil 306 GTI.
"In the break before the final we changed the set-up of the car, which we really shouldn't have done, because the back end started to break out, so I found it difficult to keep my positions," Watt explained afterwards.
On lap eight the safety car was again brought out, when Welshman Julian Westwood lost a wheel on his Renault Megane Estate, and at the re-start Carlsen soon got by Watt, who was later passed by a flying Lauridsen. The latter closed the gap to Carlsen, who suddenly encountered problems with his tyres, which lost grip for a few seconds, allowing Lauridsen to slip by into second.
Behind the leading trio Watt was trying in vain to keep the duo of Per Poulsen and John Nielsen behind him. Nielsen and Poulsen sooned swapped positions, before Poulsen was unlucky to hit an oil patch, sending his Volvo S40 into the barrier. A few laps later Nielsen moved past Watt to take fourth place, his best position of the season so far.
Like his team mate at Renault Motorsport Danmark, Philippe Favre was also unlucky to see his race end prematurely, when a wheel parted company with his car.
"Today, for once I had to concentrate for the start, as I hadn't done a standing start for the last four years, so that is something that I had to get used to again," the Swiss driver said.
"The championship is very competitive, and there were many crashes and pushes so I tried to avoid them in the first race, which I did quite well. I was able to stay with the other cars for the second race, and then my wheel came off."