Thompson and Schlunssen clash in DTC final Michael Outzen takes the second win of his career in a DTC final The three heats of Sunday's fourth round of the Danish Touringcar Championship at Padborg Park saw three different drivers representing...
Thompson and Schlunssen clash in DTC final
Michael Outzen takes the second win of his career in a DTC final
The three heats of Sunday's fourth round of the Danish Touringcar Championship at Padborg Park saw three different drivers representing three different manufacturers take the three race wins. But the day also had a dramatic ending, when a multiple crash eliminated the reigning champion Michel Nykjær among others, while a clash between WTCC regular James Thompson and leading privateer Robert Schlunsson ruined their chances of taking a race win.
The Chevrolet of Henrik Lundgaard had been fastest in qualifying, but through the first two corners of the opening lap of race one James Thompson managed to fight his way by to take a lead that he would hold until the chequered flag, giving the Hartmann team its first race win of their career.
For the second race the top eight drivers start in reverse orders and thus championship leader Tom Pedersen found himself on pole position, and he had no difficulties in taking a start-to-finish win. Further down the grid, Henrik Lundgaard and team mate Michael Outzen actually went backwards from their starting positions, which was in stark contrast to the performance of James Thompson. On the opening lap the Honda driver went from eighth to fifth, and then he also managed to pass Jan Magnussen and Michel Nykjær to take third place.
The Brit thus started the final from pole position, and at the start Robert Schlunssen in second place made contact with him on a number of occasions. But behind them all hell broke loose with cars spinning in different directions, reigning champion Michel Nykjær being one of the more prominent casualties.
However, at the front of the field the leading pair clashed, sending Robert Schlunssen off the circuit and out of the race. James Thompson was duly given a stop-and-go penalty for having hit the Peugeot driver, and he thus dropped from first to 15th at the chequered flag, handing victory to Michael Outzen, who took his second win of a DTC final.
"There is a safety car on the circuit, and that is observed by my team. And when a team informs its driver about that, it is the responsibility of the driver to act," James Thompson says about the situation leading to his clash with Robert Schlunssen.
"We are not running out there to make harm to each other, we have to think of the safety of all involved, and as I was told that there was a safety car on the circuit right after the straight, being the leader I found it right to back off. It would be irresponsible to arrive at the scene at full speed. However, there were no yellow flags or safety car signs, so Schlunssen was of course allowed to make an attempt at passing. We made contact and he went off the circuit, and that of course is my responsibility."
"After the race we were both very angry with each other, but we had a decent chat," Robert Schlunssen says.
"Thompson was of the opinion that I wasn't allowed to overtake because of a safety car. I had been informed about a safety car over the radio from my staff, but there were no yellow flags. He braked for the chicane and I got alongside him. We touched, I went by and that he probably didn't like, as he hit me so that I spun off. A safety car is not in action, until yellow flags are waved, but he obviously has a different opinion."