John Nielsen robbed by steward error Jan Magnussen took over the championship lead from Casper Elgaard The eighth and penultimate round of the Danish Touringcar Championship at Padborg Park ended in controversy when John Nielsen ...
John Nielsen robbed by steward error
Jan Magnussen took over the championship lead from Casper Elgaard
The eighth and penultimate round of the Danish Touringcar Championship at Padborg Park ended in controversy when John Nielsen literally was robbed off a certain win due to a steward error. Instead Peugeot driver Jens Edman was handed the biggest trophy, which half an hour later was taken away from him again, only for the jury to overturn that decision and reinstate the Swede as the winner!
This whole affair completely overshadowed a day of close, clean and exciting racing which saw the championship lead change hands when reigning champion Casper Elgaard simply could not get his BMW to handle in the wet conditions, whereas a couple of top four finishes gave Jan Magnussen a two point championship lead with just one round to go.
Sunday's racing started with Jens Edman taking the start in the pre-final, and he slowly but surely build up a healthy lead, while several of his rivals suffered in the tricky conditions. One driver really excelling was former European Rally Champion, Henrik Lundgaard, who could use his past experience to move from fifth to second at the chequered flag, passing drivers like John Nielsen and Seat's Michel Nykjær in the process.
Martin Jensen took fifth place, and thus he found himself on pole position for the final, which saw the top five drivers reverse their position. However, seconds before the lights turned from red to green, Martin Jensen's windows misted up and even though he initially managed to hold onto the lead, he soon ended up running wide at a corner and dropping three places.
Thus Jan Magnussen was leading and with rival Casper Elgaard languishing down in eighth position, this virtually meant that the series had got a now leader. However, Jan Magnussen did manage to hold onto his lead for long, as John Nielsen was very fast in his BMW. At the end of the third lap he outbraked Jan Magnussen at the end of the straight and thereafter built up a lead he was never to loose.
Behind him Jan Magnussen held second place, but only because Henrik Lundgaard for a while managed to fend off the opposition from Martin Jensen and Jens Edman. Of this pair Jens Edman was clearly the fastest, and when Martin Jensen made a minor error, he immediately got by and soon the Swede had also taken care of Henrik Lundgaard. Next target was Jan Magnussen, and the former champion simply did not stand a chance against Jens Edman, who was driving one of the best handling cars on the circuit.
Now Jens Edman only had John Nielsen in front of him, but then the BMW driver was given a 20 second penalty as his passing manoeuvre on Jan Magnussen was deemed to have happened under yellow flags. Jens Edman was informed on the radio of the situation, and he just concentrated on circulating around as second on the road but as the de facto leader.
After the race John Nielsen's Team Essex Invest protested against his penalty, and as a video recording of the incident proved that no yellow flags had been shown, the clerk of the course and the chief steward admitted their error and John Nielsen was then declared the winner. However, this made the Peugeot team protest, as a judgement of fact cannot be changed afterwards, and as the jury decided in favour of Peugeot and Jens Edman, the Swede was again the winner.
Luckily this episode only had a marginal effect on the championship battle between Jan Magnussen and Casper Elgaard. The pair is now split by two points, and the series will decided in a fortnight at Jyllandsringen.