Casper Elgaard loses win due to noise problems Instead reigning champion Jan Magnussen was handed a joyless win There was drama on and off the road when the drivers in the Danish Touringcar Championship took part in the most...
Casper Elgaard loses win due to noise problems
Instead reigning champion Jan Magnussen was handed a joyless win
There was drama on and off the road when the drivers in the Danish Touringcar Championship took part in the most prestigious round of the series - the Grand Prix of Denmark - the sixth round of the eight race series at Jyllands-Ringen.
Crossing the finishing line first in the important final race of the meeting was a first time ever achievement for both Casper Elgaard and his Team Essex Invest.
"I that race I probably made the best start that I have ever made," the jubilant BMW driver said in the minutes after Danish Minister of Sport and Culture, Brian Mikkelsen, had given him the winner's garland. "I dived between the two cars in front of me and reached the first corner in front. From there it was just a question of driving the best I had learned. To win the Grand Prix is something that I have dreamt about for a long time, because it is the race, I have wanted to win the most. It is unbelievable!"
Unbelievable was also the verdict that came two hours after the engines had been turned off. The top three cars on the road when through post-race scrutineering, which revealed that both the BMW 320i of Casper Elgaard and the Seat Toledo of Michel Nykjær exceeded the noise level by 10-12 dB. According to the national rule book thise exquates to a 30 second penalty, which sent Elgaard and Nykjær back to seventh and eighth, while Jan Magnussen was handed a rather joyless win.
"A win is a win, but this ain't fun," the Peugeot driver said. "If you are going to win a race, you are going win it on the circuit, where everybody can see it. Casper was really fast today. Michel the same, and neither of those have been going faster, because their cars made to much noise."
Jens Edman and Henrik Lundgaard had started from the front of race one, but while the latter made a terrible getaway, Jens Edman went into the lead and started building up a small cushion. This however was soon nullified by John Nielsen, who was significantly faster on the twistier parts of the circuit. Jens Edman left the door marginally opened, John Nielsen tried a passing move, but in the end the two cars tangled, disrupting the front suspensions of both cars. Thus Michel Nykjær found himself into a lead he was not to lose, while the rest of the field also gained two positions.
This meant that Jason Watt was elevated from seventh to fifth at the chequered flag, and with the top five positions being reversed for the grid of the final, the 2002 champion was on pole. Alas, he was passed by the fast starting Casper Elgaard and when entering the first tight left hander, his Peugeot 307 understeered into the sandtrap, ruining his race.
Jan Magnussen inherited second place, but was soon under hot pressure from Michel Nykjær, who made one of his trade mark daring passing manouvres at the end of the straight, going by the reigning champion and then closing the gap to Elgaard, whom he could not challenge. Moving in the other direction was championship leader Henrik Lundgaard, who made yet another tardy getaway and suffered a plethora of problems.
"I'm really appalled at the hard driving that I experienced in the first corner," Henrik Lundgaard said, shaking his head. "People do not take any care, just as along as they can push and shove. The steering of my car got a hefty whack, and I'm really lucky to see the chequered flag with rubber on the tyres. As early as lap three the tyres are overheating, so it was just a question of finding a way to the get to the finishing line. I'm really glad that I only had to let to other cars get past me."
Generally the judges had a busy day. Apart from the 30 second noise penalties to Casper Elgaard and Michel Nykjær, race exclusions were handed out to John Nielsen (for his collision with Jens Edman), while the same fate was suffered by Jens Møller and Jacob Kristensen for similar offences.
The penultimate round of the Danish Touringcar Championship takes places at Padborg Park on September 19th.