Michel NykjÃ¦r takes championship lead Several top drivers retired from DTC race at Sturup Raceway Round two of the Danish Touringcar Championship at Sturup Raceway in Southern Sweden was a very dramatic affair. Several of the ...
Michel Nykjær takes championship lead
Several top drivers retired from DTC race at Sturup Raceway
Round two of the Danish Touringcar Championship at Sturup Raceway in Southern Sweden was a very dramatic affair. Several of the leading drivers had to retire after collisions, but it did not take away the limelight of Seat Leon driver Michel Nykjær who turned out to be the big winner. In a gigant field of 27 cars he won the first qualification race and with sixth place in race qualification race two, he got pole position for the final, which he won.
"It ended as I had hoped and expected," the jubilant Seat Leon driver said afterwards.
"The BMWs were faster at the start, and both Philip Andersen and John Nielsen overtake me on the run to the first corner, but they then touch, and it is as if Philip is braking. I go off the accelerator, but then gets a huge push from behind, hit Philip and then I am able to accelerate past Philip and John. I was really pushing hard in order to build up a cushion, so that I could hold the lead to the finish, and I succeeded. It is the first time that we take two wins over a weekend. I have never tried that before, and now we are leading the championship, which is fantastic."
Philip Andersen was actually leading the final at the Copenhagen Racing GP for 200 metres or so, and even though he put up with his strongest performance so far in his DTC career, he did not reach the chequered flag.
"I am not blaming Michel Nykjær, but he gave me a push and sent me sideways, which makes three other drivers go by me. It was okay to hold fourth place, but my rear end had suffered a damage, and it just got worse and worse, so I had to retire," Philip Andersen said.
Second in the final went to Team Essex driver John Nielsen in front of Michael Outzen, who earlier in the day had become the first privateer since 2002 to win a DTC race when he took the chequered flag first in qualification race 2. "It has been a weekend of ups and downs, but luckily it ended well," the BMW driver said. During qualification race 1 he got a penalty for hitting Honda Accord driver Martin Jensen. "Twice I got through the penalty lane, but I only had to do it once, but luckily the judges changed their verdict so that I could start heat 2 from first position. It just showed that the judges were acting professionally."
The fight to become best-of-the-rest in the final was a battle between BMW driver Jason Watt and top Chevrolet man Pontus Mörth, who fought for 13 laps in the final to take fourth and fifth place during a race meeting that saw a lot of car damage. The most dramatic episode happened at the start of the final, when the Honda driver Jens Edman as well as reigning champion Casper Elgaard and 2003 title holder Jan Magnussen were eliminated barely a quarter of a mile into the race.
"I was hit really hard in the side, and that was a consequence of a tangle between Casper and Edman," Jan Magnussen explained. "First I was rammed by Edman, and then Casper appeared on the scene and tore the front wheel suspension of the car. It would have been important to score some more points, but now it seems that we have got the speed."
"It was a weekend where things turned sour, but such weekends do happen, but luckily we are now allowed to subtract the worst scores, and these scores will most certainly be subtracted," Casper Elgaard said, having also retired from the second qualification race, where he and Jan Magnussen had also been in contact when the were running closely behind Philip Andersen.
For Jens Edman the result in the final was an utter disappointment after having finished in second place behind Michael Outzen in the second qualification race.
"The second race was just fantastic. It was a mad fight and it was great to take second place, but in the final I just raced for 200 metres, before everything went wrong. Then I became the meat in a BMW sandwich," the Swede said.