The McDonald's Nissan Primeras were back on the pace at Ring Djursland The fight for pole position for Sunday's round five of the Danish Touringcar Championship at Ring Djursland turned out to be a close and intense battle between Jan Magnussen...
The McDonald's Nissan Primeras were back on the pace at Ring Djursland The fight for pole position for Sunday's round five of the Danish Touringcar Championship at Ring Djursland turned out to be a close and intense battle between Jan Magnussen and John Nielsen. Following the 20 minute session the Portland ALMS winner ended up with his second DTC pole position with a margin of just 0,07 second to Big John.
"It's ridiculously close, but is as also close as you might expect from the DTC series," Jan Magnussen said after the timed practice, which he had to end a couple of minutes early.
"Since my last outing in the series in June, my Peugeot 306 has been modified, and I feel that it has been improved. But I do not know what kind of problem we suffered during practice, when I stopped, but we think that it probably was a gearbox or maybe a clutch problem. I also had a problem with either a potentiometer or the injection system, so that the engine would only run on full throttle."
Saturday's session also showed that the two Nissan Primeras are again competitive, as John Nielsen and Thorkild Thyrring ended up in second and fifth position respectively.
"Finally we have got the right specification for the car, and now we are back where we really should have been, when the season started," John Nielsen said after having held pole position provisionally before loosing it to Jan Magnussen.
"I don't have any problem in being beaten by Jan, because both of us will start from the front tomorrow, and that is fine. I know where I made the mistake. I braked a little bit to late at the end of the straight, so I missed the apex by about two metres, and I got back on the trottle a little bit late, which cost me a tenth of a second. But the DTC series is so close that you have to be very precise when going for a time on the circuit."
Both Magnussen and Nielsen are too far behind in the points table to have any championship chances, so both will be driving for the victory alone tomorrow. "It's gonna be a fine race. John is a hard dog, but I just have to be even harder on him," say Magnussen.
But it was not only the battle for pole position that was close in today's Danish Touringcar Championship practice. The top 14 cars qualified within a second, and it was especially amazing to see championship leader Michael Carlsen taking sixth fastest time, as he is driving with maximum ballast weight. Carlsen's rival for the championship, former F3000 driver Jason Watt, is carrying less weight and that resulted in fourth place on the grid in a time that was identical to that of third placed driver, Casper Elgaard.
Welshman Julian Westwood ended up in 18th place with his Renault Megane Estate, while his new teammate, Philippe Siffert, was less lucky. During the morning's untimed practice he ended up in an embankment at the end of the straight, bending his car beyond repair.
"I probably braked a bit too late and a bit too hard, so the wheels locked," the unlucky Swiss said. "I tried to ease off a bit, but the distance between the tarmac and the embankmant was just too small. Normally you can make such a small error, go through the gravel trap and then get out onto the tarmac again, but not here. I'm a bit disappointed, but I just have to forget it and hopefully the team will also forget it."
Result of qualifying for round 5 of the Danish Touringcar Championship:
1. Jan Magnussen Peugeot Statoil Motorsport Peugeot 306 GTI 55,252 2. John Nielsen McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 55,326 3. Casper Elgaard Team Brask Peugeot 406 Coupé 55,511 4. Jason Watt Peugeot Statoil Motorsport Peugeot 306 GTI 55,511 5. Thorkild Thyrring McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 55,544 6. Michael Carlsen Michael Carlsen Peugeot 306 GTI 55,704 7. Brian Mikkelsen Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai Coupé 55,816 8. Michael Schröter Volkswagen Castrol Racing Volkswagen Golf 55,842 9. Jesper Sylvest Sylvest Motorsport Citroën Xsara Coupé VTS 55,878 10. Mike Legarth Legarth Racing Team BMW 320 GTI 55,912