DTC: Ring Djursland, round six race report

Casper Elgaard narrows points gap to Jan Magnussen Jan Magnussen spins out following clash with team mate Jens Edman For the second meeting in a row veteran driver John Nielsen won a final in the Danish Touringcar Championship. At Ring...

Casper Elgaard narrows points gap to Jan Magnussen
Jan Magnussen spins out following clash with team mate Jens Edman

For the second meeting in a row veteran driver John Nielsen won a final in the Danish Touringcar Championship. At Ring Djursland the BMW driver made perfect overtaking moves in the pre-final and then the final to eventually pass the reigning champion Jason Watt and take victory. But Sunday's race result also made the outcome of the series wide open with three rounds to go. With a win in the pre-final and second place in the final Casper Elgaard narrowed the points gap to Jan Magnussen from 30 to 4 points, as the latter driver spun out of the final following a clash with team mate Jens Edman.

Casper Elgaard had taken pole position in the Super Pole session, and at the word go he was unstoppable, quickly building up a healthy lead to Henrik Lundgaard and Jens Edman. Behind this duo John Nielsen initially held fourth from Jan Magnussen, but the latter soon moved by, but could not build up a cushion to John Nielsen, who made a perfect passing manouvre at the end of lap four, when he dived inside the championship leader in the hairpin.

Jan Magnussen was having mechanical trouble with his Peugeot and soon dropped back to hold fifth in front of Jason Watt, while John Nielsen moved the other way. Quickly he narrowed down the gap to Jens Edman in third, and in an almost carbon copy move he nipped by the Swede at the hairpin just like he had done with Magnussen. Henrik Lundgaard's Toyota Corolla was next in line, and although John Nielsen moved right onto the bumper of the former European Rally Champion, he wasn't close enough for an attack.

With the top six positions from the pre-final being reversed for the starting order in the final Jason Watt held pole in front of Jan Magnussen and Jens Edman, and although this trio held position on the opening lap, the latter pair soon started fighting, before Magnussen got a cushion and then passed Watt for the lead. On lap four, however, Jakob Sund's works Corolla was suddenly stationary following a collision with Pontus Morth, and thus the safety car was sent onto the circuit.

When the course car left the tarmac again, Jason Watt timed his acceleration to perfection, as he slingshot his Peugeot past the leading sister car of Jan Magnussen in the very moment the green flag was waved. Now Jan Magnussen and Jens Edman again started fighting, and on exiting the hairpin on the sixth lap a clash between them sent Magnussen's car spinning of the circuit.

"I made a bad entry to the straight, which allowed Jens Edman to get on my inside for the hairpin," Magnussen explained. "In the hairpin we hit, so that I got a low exit speed, and then we tangled again and I went of the circuit. When it happened, I was convinced that it was Jens's fault, but having seen it on video, I think it is a race incident."

His Swedish teammate shared this opinion.

"Exiting the corner there was room for both him and me, but nevertheless we still tangled," Edman said. "Unluckily my front wheel got stuck with his rear wheel, and even though I try to wrest free, we kept being stuck to each other. It really shouldn't have happened, but it was a mistake from both my and Jan's side."

Despite the clash between the two Peugeots, the lion marque was still leading thanks to Jason Watt, but midway through the race his lead to John Nielsen was getting less and less, and on lap 14 of 20 the BMW driver moved by him in the hilly Forest section of the circuit to the lead and eventual win.

Behind them a battle was raging for third between Henrik Lundgard and Casper Elgaard, and it looked as if the former driver would manage to hold onto his position. But then with five laps to go the Toyota started being slower, which allowed Casper Elgaard to move by. Soon after Jens Edman also followed through, and Henrik Lundgaard had to park his car with boiling petrol.

Now Casper Elgaard had Jason Watt in his sights, but as Elgaard is fighting for the championship, and Watt is racing for individual results following a dismal opening season, no one believed that the BMW driver would dare a move. But he did on the very last lap and succeeded.

"My team had called me to say that I should only attempt a pass, if I was 100 per cnt sure," Elgaard explained. "I thought Jason opened the door in the Forest section, and thus I simply had to attempt to get a one-two win for the team, and I was successful."

Other facts: Next round of the Danish Touringcar Championship will take place on the newly extended Jyllands-Ringen on August 30th. * K-motorsport run by the family of Tom Kristensen had a dismal race meeting with Martin Jensen posting its only result with 12th position in the final. Teammate Philip Andersen -- who had impressed during practice -- retired with electrical failure from both heats. * The two races for the supporting Formula Renault class were won by Tom Pedersen and Jesper Wulff Laursen respectively, the two drivers also sharing the top positions in the overall standing of the series.

-www.dtc-net.dk

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Series General
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Henrik Lundgaard , John Nielsen , Jason Watt , Casper Elgaard , Martin Jensen , Jens Edman , Philip Andersen