Touringcar racing - October 8th 2000 - Danish Touringcar Challenge: Michael Carlsen wins Danish Touringcar Challenge The DTC season ended as a dramatic and action-packed affair After the qualification race of the eight and final round of ...
Touringcar racing - October 8th 2000 - Danish Touringcar Challenge:
Michael Carlsen wins Danish Touringcar Challenge
The DTC season ended as a dramatic and action-packed affair
After the qualification race of the eight and final round of the Danish Touringcar Challenge BP Peugeot driver Michael Carlsen had firmly secured this year's title. While his McDonald's Nissan rival John Nielsen finished the qualifyer in fifth place, Carlsen won the race to secure first place overall, even though the final race at the Jyllands-Ring was still to be run.
"It is absolutely lovely. Our team has been working all season long to take the championship, yes, actually we also tried last year," said a reliefed Michael Carlsen in the break between the qualification race and the final. In 1999 the 306 driver lost the DTC title during the final stages of the season-closer, but this time the were no doubts hanging over Carlsen's drive, and no-one was in doubt that the title was well-deserved.
The final DTC race of the year turned out to be a high-tense affair. On the opening lap of the qualification heat pole-sietting Volvo S40 driver Jørgen Poulsen had a coming together with old champion Jesper Sylvest, sending the former into a half spin and down into tenth place.
"Sylvest hit me on the inside, when I took the racing line in the last corner, but he did not do it on purpose. It was a racing accident, and Sylvest and I had a word about it, and that's that," the Volvo driver said afterwards.
Thus Michael Carlsen could lead all 12 laps of the qualification race, while Pierre Legarth fought past Michael Schroter to take second place midway through the race. Further down the field John Nielsen had great difficulties matching the pace of the leaders, and he had to let Jesper Sylvest slip by before settling for fifth place just in front of Jason Watt, who had worked his way up from 16th on the grid following electrical troubles in qualifying.
The final was even more action-packed and dramatic. Having already secured the title, Carlsen seemed to relax at the start, as he rounded the first corner down in fifth place. Instead, Michael Schroter had made a perfect start, taking his Volkswagen Golf from third on the grid to lead in front of Pierre Legarth, John Nielsen and Jesper Sylvest. His lead, however, was shortlived, as Legarth outbraked him at the start of the second lap.
Further down the field Sylvest was putting pressure on Nielsen, but it was not until Jason Watt's Peugeot joined the duo that a new driver got into third. In a tandem attack Sylvest and Watt dived inside Nielsen at the end of the short straight, and in the ensuing confusion Watt managed to take both Sylvest and Nielsen, who also swopped places in the process. On the following laps Watt closed the gap to Schroter, and after having made a few attempts at passing the white Golf, he finally succeeded at the start of lap 7. Very quickly Watt got onto the tail of his race-leading team-mate Legarth, whom he passed at the end of the very same lap to take the lead.
Watt now started pulling out a lead from Legarth, who did not have any difficulties in holding second place, as Schroter was busy fending off the attacks of first Sylvest and then Nielsen, the Nissan Primera driver having passed the old champion's Xsara on lap 14. Two laps later Super John also got by Schroter to take third, and he then started to close in on Legarth, when their fight for second place suddenly was transformed to be a fight for the lead, as Watt pulled off the road with another electrical problem on the penultimate lap.
With half a lap to go Nielsen got onto the inside of Legarth at the horse shoe section of the circuit, and in the following left-hander the two drivers got into heavy contact. Legarth's car got off worse and was sent into a half spin, before it could cross the finishing line in third behind Nielsen and Schroter who had nipped by.
After the race, however, John Nielsen was given a 25 second penalty, as his attempt at passing Legarth had been done under yellow flags, and this sent the McDonald's Nissan driver down to seventh place, giving Schroter his first-ever DTC win.
"I came here to win, so I am very satisfied," the Volkswagen Golf driver said. "If I had been runner-up today, I would have been very pissed off, for now I have been running in the Danish Touringcar Challenge without a win. I am also very satisfied with my starts today. In the qualification race I moved from fifth on the grid to second, and in the final I took the lead from third place. And to be honest, I was the only driver along with Jason who drove a clean race today."
New champion Michael Carlsen did not last long in the final. Following his mediocre start he was unlucky to collect John Nielsen, when the latter got sideways, smashing his oil cooler in the process, which led to his eventual retirement.
DAMS Formula 3000 driver Kristian Kolby took fourth place in the final, having hounded Brian Mikkelsen's well-balanced Hyundai Coupe in the closing stages of the race. Occasional Panoz SRWC driver Elgaard took ninth, while Thorkild Thyrring had to retire from the qualification race, when he could not avoid hitting a spinning Elgaard. <pre> Result - Jyllands-Ringen (DK) - Round 8 - Qualification race - 12 laps of 1.475 kms:
1. Michael Carlsen Michael Carlsen Motorsport Peugeot 306 GTI 10.18,784 2. Pierre Legarth Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 406 Coupe 10.19,364 3. Michael Schroter Michael Schroter Volkswagen Golf GTI 10.21,753 4. Jesper Sylvest Sylvest Motorsport Citroën Xsara Coupe VTS 10.22,353 5. John Nielsen McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 10.24,036 6. Jason Watt Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 306 GTI 10.24,552 7. Carsten Leveau Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 10.25,784 8. Gunnar Kristensen Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 10.27,456 9. Mike Legarth Legarth Racing BMW 320i 10.29,241 10. Jørgen Poulsen S40 Racing Volvo S40 10.32,917
Fastest lap: Jason Watt, 49,885s (106,445 km/h).
Result - Jyllands-Ringen (DK) - Round 8 - Final - 20 laps of 1.475 kms:
1. Michael Schroter Michael Schroter VW Golf GTI 17.09,142 2. Pierre Legarth Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 406 Coupe 17.11,922 3. Brian Mikkelsen Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai Coupe 17.18,574 4. Kristian Kolby Renault Motorsport Danmark Renault Megane St. Car 17.18,762 5. Peter Rasmussen VHA Trim Racing Fiat Coupe 17.21,346 6. Klaus Madsen Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 17.29,141 7. John Nielsen McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 17.32,832 8. Carsten Leveau Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 17.34,919 9. Casper Elgaard Renault Motorsport Danmark Renault Megane St.car 17.35,314 10. Jesper Villumsen www.teamfokus.dk Ford Focus 17.36,526
Fastest lap: Jason Watt, 50,013s (106,172 km/h).
Final championship positions - drivers:
1. Michael Carlsen Michael Carlsen Motorsport Peugeot 306 GTI 140,0 p. 2. John Nielsen McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 122,5 p. 3. Michael Schroter Michael Schroter VW Golf GTI 114,0 p. 4. Pierre Legarth Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 406 Coupe 100,5 p. 5. Jesper Sylvest Sylvest Motorsport Citroën Xsara Coupe VTS 98,5 p. 6. Klaus Madsen Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 66,0 p. 7. Thorkild Thyrring McDonald's Nissan Racing Nissan Primera 63,0 p. 8. Jason Watt Peugeot Sport Team Peugeot 306 GTI 60,0 p. 9. Mike Legarth Legarth Racing BMW 320i 41,5 p. 10. Casper Elgaard Renault Motorsport Danmark Renault Megane St.car 24,0 p.
Carsten Leveau Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 24,0 p.
12. Peter Rasmussen VHA Trim Racing Fiat Coupe 23,5 p. 13. Kristian Kolby Renault Motorsport Danmark Renault Megane St. Car 18,0 p. 14. Brian Mikkelsen Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai Coupe 15,0 p. 15. Johnny V. Nielsen J.V. Nielsen Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 11,0 p. 16. Gunnar Kristensen Team Brask Racing Peugeot 306 GTI 9,5 p. 17. Jørgen Weinreich Valvoline Racing Seat Cordoba 2,0 16V 9,0 p.
Jørgen Poulsen S40 Racing Volvo S40 9,0 p.
19. Kurt Thiim Team Hohenester Volkswagen Beetle 8,5 p. 20. Allan Bjerregaard Allan Bjerregaard Ford Focus 5,0 p.
Jens Andersen S40 Racing Volvo S40 5,0 p. 22. Jesper Villumsen www.teamfokus.dk Ford Focus 1,5 p. 23. Kent Bo Steffensen S40 Racing Volvo S40 1,0 p.
Final championship positions - makes:
1. Peugeot 212,0 p. 2. Nissan 147,0 p. 3. Volkswagen 118,0 p. 4. Citroën 98,5 p. 5. BMW 41,5 p. 6. Renault 38,5 p. 7. Fiat 23,5 p. 8. Hyundai 15,0 p. 9. Volvo 14,0 p. 10. Seat 9,0 p. 11. Ford 6,0 p.