DTC: Jyllands-Ringen round one race report

Casper Elgaard takes maiden DTC win. Team Essex Invest pulled of a 1-3 win at the season opener. This year's Danish Touringcar Championship started on Sunday at Jyllands-Ringen, where Casper Elgaard and John Nielsen pulled of a 1-3 win in the...

Casper Elgaard takes maiden DTC win.
Team Essex Invest pulled of a 1-3 win at the season opener.

This year's Danish Touringcar Championship started on Sunday at Jyllands-Ringen, where Casper Elgaard and John Nielsen pulled of a 1-3 win in the main event for Team Essex Invest against very strong competition. However, having won the pre-final and later splitting the Team Essex Invest twins former Grand Prix driver Jan Magnussen is now leading the championship.

In the pre-final Casper Elgaard transformed his pole position to a race lead in front of teammate John Nielsen, while Jan Magnussen held third from Kurt Thiim's brand new Renault Megane and the Toyota Corolla of Henrik Lundgaard. However, John Nielsen's BMW was the faster of the Essex pair, so at the start of lap three he dived inside his teammate, also making room for Magnussen, who later on that lap also nipped by to take the lead.

With Jan Magnussen, John Nielsen and Casper Elgaard circulating at the front, the battle was now on for fourth place. Henrik Lundgaard moved by Kurt Thiim to take this position, but he didn't manage to pull out a gap to his former teammate, who was also being hunted by Jens Edman. A few laps later this battle for fourth was suddenly a battle for third, as Casper Elgaard was running into handling difficulties with his car and dropping to an eventual sixth place. At the front Jan Magnussen sailed on to take his first win of the 2003 season.

With the top six drivers of the pre-final starting in reverse order for the final, Jan Magnussen would suddenly start down in sixth position, while Casper Elgaard would start from pole position for the second time in a row. But lucikly for him the mechanics of Team Essex Invest managed to dial out some of the problems he had had earlier on.

Once again Casper Elgaard romped into the lead in front of Kurt Thiim and Jens Edman, and as Henrik Lundgaard and John Nielsen virtually tangled in their battle for position, Magnussen was unable to gain ground and instead was caught battling with Henrik Lundgaard's teammate, Jakob Sund. Midway through lap three Big Mag had wrestled himself free of Sund, and he could now launch a successful attempt at passing Henrik Lundgaard, but soon after the top part of his gear lever suddenly broke off.

In front of Jan Magnussen John Nielsen was trying to find a way past Jens Edman, but in his attempts to do so, he accidently made room for Jan Magnussen to go from fifth to third in one go. Now, only the leading Casper Elgaard and Kurt Thiim were in front of Jan Magnussen, and the Renault driver was soon caught by Jan Magnussen, who nipped by on lap seven. By this time Casper Elgaard had got a four second lead, and as Jan Magnussen had overheated his tyres, he stood no chance of catching the BMW driver who could finally take his maiden win in a final.

John Nielsen was also making up places. On lap nine he nipped by Henrik Lundgaard to take fourth and he now set off to catch his old rival Kurt Thiim, whom he finally passed on lap 13 to make it a 1-3 win for Team Essex Invest.

Generally the opening round saw some clean and proper racing, but round one of the series will also be remembered for its huge number of blown engines.

During Saturday's practice sessions reigning champion Jason Watt blew two power plants, making him a non-starter, a fate that also befell former double champion Michael Carlsen, whose Peugeot 307 GTI developed an oil pressure problem. K-motorsport's Martin Jensen broke an engine during the Super Pole session, but the hard working mechanics managed to mount a new one for the races, where he notched up a couple of eighth places.

-dtc-

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Series General
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Henrik Lundgaard , John Nielsen , Jason Watt , Casper Elgaard , Jens Edman , Kurt Thiim