DTC: Jyllands-Ringen season opener report

Danish tourers started the year with a big bang Several potential winners were eliminated in first corner crash The 2004 season in the Danish Touringcar Championship litterally started with a big bang on Sunday at Jyllands-Ringen.

Danish tourers started the year with a big bang
Several potential winners were eliminated in first corner crash

The 2004 season in the Danish Touringcar Championship litterally started with a big bang on Sunday at Jyllands-Ringen. Barely a few seconds after the lights had turned green for the first race of the year, the red flags were brought out following total mayhem, which blocked the circuit at the very first corner.

Pole sitter Pontus Morth made a tardy getaway in his Volvo S60, which was engulfed by the fast-starting Team Essex Invest BMWs of Casper Elgaard and John Nielsen. As the 19 car field reached the first corner contact was made between the cars of Morth and Nielsen.

"As ususal the BMWs were very fast at the start and both Casper and John got alongside me, and then John just went into the side of me, while Casper was on the inside," Pontus Morth said after having secured the second ever pole position for Volvo. "I really could do nothing, and having seen the situation on TV afterwards, you will see that my car is pointing in a straight direction all the time."

The rivaling Team Essex Invest had a different view on the collision that elimated the team's two fastest cars.

"I have yet to see the situation on TV, but I believe that Morth is touching me so that I get sideways which causes the mayhem," John Nielsen said. "It is a chain reaction. A minor thing that turns into a big thing, but it is probably the blackest weekend we have had, but so is motor racing, and it ain't over until the fat lady sings."

At the re-start the two Toyota Corollas of Jens Edman and Henrik Lundgaard were untouchable and sailed away into the distance, the team's Swedish newcomer taking the first win of the season. As former DTC champion Jason Watt had to start from the pit for the re-start and eventually retiring with a broken front suspension, it was Martin Jensen who became top Peugeot driver, taking his damaged and tyre smoking 307 to third place ahead of Michel Nykjær.

The latter driver had started the race down in eighth position, but had steadily moved up through the field. Midway through the pre-final he had a hard and long battle with reigning Scandinavian Formula Renault Champion Tom Pedersen, but the series newcomer eventually had to hand over fifth place to the Seat driver who also took fourth place from top privateer Mike Legarth on the very last lap.

The positions of the top five drivers were reversed for the final, and thus Mike Legarth found himself on pole position. However, the BMW driver was soon under severe pressure from Martin Jensen, and just as the latter tried a passing attempt in the first corner on lap 2, both were outbraked by a flying Michel Nykjær.

"There was a gap and I could also see that Martin was busy outbraking Mike, so I took the chance and just tried. It was wonderfull," the Seat Toledo driver. His main worry ended up being Jens Edman, who took second place from Martin Jensen following a third of the race. But the Toyota driver did not see the chequered flag, as his engine broke with a few laps to go, leaving Martin Jensen to retake second from Henrik Lundgaard.

But at the front Michel Nykjær sailed on to take the second final win of his short DTC career, which last year made him the series' youngest race winner in a wet August race.

"I have had success in the wet, but I have never achieved a good result in the try. It is just amazing to win," the Seat Toledo driver said.

-dtc-

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Series General
Drivers Henrik Lundgaard , John Nielsen , Jason Watt , Casper Elgaard , Martin Jensen , Jens Edman