The Chevrolet driver kept clear of the damage to win most closely fought round Chevrolet Lacetti Michael Outzen claimed his first win in a final of a Danish Touringcar Championship round, when he crossed the finishing line seven seconds in ...
The Chevrolet driver kept clear of the damage to win most closely fought round
Chevrolet Lacetti Michael Outzen claimed his first win in a final of a Danish Touringcar Championship round, when he crossed the finishing line seven seconds in front of Sweden's Jens Edman at Ring Djursland, which staged the second of eight rounds of this years series. However, with his race win the 2007 privateer champion also claimed the lead of the championship.
"I am equally pleased to take the win as well as the series lead," Michael Outzen said afterwards. "This is just splendid!"
The race at Ring Djursland was a closely fought affair, and the timed practice gave amble evidence of the competitiveness of the Danish series. Less than 1.6 second separated Henrik Lundgaard's pole-sitting Chevrolet Lacetti from ex Champ Car driver Ronnie Bremer's Mercedes C200 in 23th place. That equates to an average car-to-car interval of 68 thousandths -- a new record for the Danish Touringcar Championship.
The first of the three races at Ring Djursland saw Henrik Lundgaard turn his pole position into a race lead from team mate and sometimes ALMS runner Martin Jensen, but Henrik Lundgaard had full control of the race, claiming a 2.5 second win from Michael Outzen, who got under heavy pressure from Martin Jensen towards the end of the race.
Behind the trio Peugeot 407 driver Robert Schlunssen managed to hold on to fourth place despite pressure form BMW 320si E90 driver Tom Pedersen. Reigning champion Michel Nykjaer managed to pass Jens Edman for sixth place, while 2002 champion Jason Watt in his hand-controlled Seat Leon withstood the pressure from former WTCC regular Emmet O'Brien to claim eighth position and thus pole position for the reverse-grid second heat.
Jason Watt led the field away for race two, but he soon got under pressure from Jens Edman, the Sweden making contact with his former team mate to go by at the end of lap two and head off into the distance. However, Jens Edman was not the only driver who wanted to pass Jason Watt. Midway through the heat Tom Pedersen had closed the gap to Jason Watt, and even though he made several passing manouvres, he could not find a way past.
In fact Tom Pedersen even made contact with Jason Watt, and in the process he had to let Michel Nykjaer and Robert Schlunssen by, and on top of that also got a penalty for hitting Jason Watt, the BMW driver losing another place.
However, this bumper to bumper episode was nothing compared to what was going on further down the field. Having finished first and third respectively in the first heat, Henrik Lundgaard and Martin Jensen had started the heat in eighth and sixth respectively, but soon they were battling each other and both ended up leaving the circuit.
"It all begins with Michel Nykjaer exiting the circuit and returning to the tarmac with soil on the tires, and that leads to a chain reaction," Martin Jensen explains. "I made contact with the rear bumper of Henrik, and as we went down into the forest section, the other drivers were braking earlier than me, so I ended up ramming Henrik from behind. He opened up a giant gap for me in the forest section, but exiting this he drove into my rear bumper and turned me around."
"Martin hit me several times, and the last time he ended up sending me into a slide and then both of us ran into the sand and lost a lot of positions," Henrik Lundgaard says about his vision of the episode. "It was really unlucky, and as Martin said to me afterwards, we ought to have stayed in our positions, but he was the one, who took the decision."
The grid for the third and final heat is based on the aggregate results from the two previous heats and thus Michael Outzen with a second and a fifth place could claim pole position in front of the Peugeot pair of Robert Schlunssen and Jens Edman. But the field only saw the tail lights of the Chevrolet Lacetti, as Michael Outzen sailed into the distance to claim his first win in a DTC final.
"It was simply a question of staying out of trouble all weekend," the winner says. "I could see that this round could give dents in the cars, and it did. I tried to stay out of trouble and just avoid any problems, and that proved to be right. I got pole position for the final, and from there it was just a question of putting the throttle down."
As Robert Schlunssen was given a stop & go penalty for having received outside assistance on the dummy grid, Jens Edman crossed the finishing line in second place, but later he lost this result as the wheelbase of his Peugeot 407 was measured to be to long. This meant second place was inherited by Michel Nykjaer, who had his best weekend so far defending his 2007 title aboard a rear-wheel driven BMW 320si E90 from Poulsen Motorsport, where team mate Emmet O'Brien claimed eighth.