Michel Nykjær extends DTC lead with another win
Many teams and drivers lost out in tyre gamble at wet Padborg Park
Motor racing – June 24th 2007 – Danish Touringcar Championship:
Michael Nykjær extended his lead in the battle for this year’s Danish Touringcar Championship, when – following a victory in one of the two preceeding qualifying heats – he dominated the final at Padborg Park, which he won with a solid cushion to the BMW pair of Jan Magnussen and Kurt Thiim. With the result the Seat Leon driver now has a lead of 34 points, as many of the leading contenders lost out in the tyre gamble at a wet and unpredictable Padborg Park.
"It is incredible and hard to believe. We had hoped for a good result, and we knew we have a good car for this circuit. We thought it would be possible to get some good results, and we got them," a jubilant Michel Nykjær said after the final which took place at a totally dry circuit following two on-off wet-dry qualifying heats. "We also had too many new slicks due to the amount of rain. We had good tyres, but towards the end they were almost finished."
Seat driver Michel Nykjær extended his championship lead by winning at Padborg Park in front of Jan Magnussen and Kurt Thiim (photographer Birger Vilén).
The Seat driver had won the first qualifying heat from Jan Magnussen and Chevrolet Lacetti driver Pontus Mörth, but the second qualifying heat saw Kasper Jensen’s Peugeot 407 start from his first ever pole position. But just before the race should start, it started to rain again, and many drivers switched tyres and took some risky gambles, some of which were fruitful, others not.
"We made a mistake by chosing rain tyres like a lot of other drivers. But when you are lying at the rear end of the field, and the slick mounted cars just drive past you, there is no point in continuing," Chevrolet driver Henrik Lundgaard said. But Kasper Jensen had taken a different gamble.
"We chose slicks as we thought that it would keep dry, but during the first two or three laps it was really difficult to keep the car on the track," the Peugeot 407 driver said. From pole position he dropped to twelfth place.
"It was difficult to keep competitors behind you, but then we got a safety car period, and that made the tarmac dry even more. I could see that the drivers in front of me tried to cool their tyres, and then I knew things would turn my way. I tried to drive a safe race, as I could see how people were fighting with their cars, and I succeeded. At the flag only Kurt Thiim was in front of me," Kasper Jensen said of his second place.
Kurt Thiim had also chosen slicks, and thus midway through the race he could pass John Nielsen, Jan Magnussen, Michel Nykjær, Jens Møller, Michael Outzen and Jens Edman to take his first DTC race win for five years.
"The tyre choice was like Russian roulette, but we made the right choice and it was enough to take a win," Kurt Thiim said having ruined his Super Pole lap the day before. "I was really down about what I did, when I spun on my flying lap, but now we are happy."
A lot of drivers found the wet conditions difficult. Jason Watt spun twice in his hand-controlled BMW following a good drive through the field in qualifying heat 1, while reigning champions Team Essex lacked speed. On top of this reigning champion Casper Elgaard was sent off the circuit, while John Nielsen’s sixth place was the team’s best result. But several drivers did untraditional things which gave them a bonus. Tom Pedersen thus chose to switch from rain tyres to slicks midway through qualification heat 2, and he duly got sixth position for that, finishing two places further up than Robert Schlünssen, who had started that heat from 28th position.
Among the privateers Michael Outzen did best. He took two fourths – one of which was in the final – where he scored the maximum number of points for the DTC Cup ahead of Team Sturup Raceway Seat paring of Carsten Leveau and Gunnar Kristensen.
Kasper Jensen climbed from 12th to 2nd in the wet and unpredictable heat two in his Peugeot 407 (photographer Birger Vilén).
Result of the final:
1. Michel Nykjær Tappernøje Seat Leon 13:59,518 2. Jan Magnussen England BMW 320si E90 14:01,781 3. Kurt Thiim Luxembourg BMW 320si E90 14:02,303 4. Michael Outzen Ringe BMW 320si E90 14:03,966 5. Jens Edman Sverige Honda Accord 14:07,202 6. John Nielsen Horsens BMW 320si E90 14:08,758 7. Casper Elgaard Århus BMW 320si E90 14:16,674 8. Pontus Mörth Sverige Chevrolet Lacetti 14:18,141 9. Carsten Leveau København Seat Leon 14:19,084 10. Gunnar Kristensen Klampenborg Seat Leon 14:22,410
Result of qualifying heat 1:
1. Michel Nykjær Tappernøje Seat Leon 17:58,794 2. Jan Magnussen England BMW 320si E90 18:05,935 3. Pontus Mörth Sverige Chevrolet Lacetti 18:06,525 4. Michael Outzen Ringe BMW 320si E90 18:07,020 5. Jens Edman Sverige Honda Accord 18:11,680 6. Kurt Thiim Luxembourg BMW 320si E90 18:17,251 7. Jens Reno Møller Ikast Honda Accord 18:20,416 8. Kasper Jense Aalborg Peugeot 407 18:20,859 9. Peter Ager Esbjerg BMW 320i E46 18:21,877 10. Casper Elgaard Århus BMW 320si E90 18:24,791
Result of qualifying heat 2:
1. Kurt Thiim Luxembourg BMW 320si E90 17:33,511 2. Kasper Jensen Aalborg Peugeot 407 17:42,521 3. Jens Edman Sverige Honda Accord 17:51,675 4. Michel Nykjær Tappernøje Seat Leon 17:52,550 5. Gunnar Kristensen Klampenborg Seat Leon 17:53,602 6. Tom Pedersen Christiansfeld BMW 320i E46 17:54,769 7. Jens Reno Møller Ikast Honda Accord 17:59,558 8. Robert Schlünssen Tyskland Peugeot 407 18:05,094 9. Peter Ager Esbjerg BMW 320i E46 18:06,678 10. Michael Outzen Ringe BMW 320si E90 18:09,927
Championship positions - drivers:
1. Michel Nykjær Tappernøje Seat Leon 175 2. Jan Magnussen England BMW 320si E90 141 3. Michael Outzen Ringe BMW 320si E90 141 4. John Nielsen Horsens BMW 320si E90 132 5. Casper Elgaard Århus BMW 320si E90 128 6. Tom Pedersen Christiansfeld BMW 320i E46 89 7. Pontus Mörth Sverige Chevrolet Lacetti 86 8. Philip Andersen Risskov BMW 320si E90 82 9. Henrik Lundgaard Hedensted Chevrolet Lacetti 81 Kurt Thiim Luxembourg BMW 320si E90 81 11. Jens Edman Sverige Honda Accord Euro-R 75 12. Jason Watt Herlev BMW 320si E90 48 Kasper Jensen Aalborg Peugeot 407 48 14. Martin Jensen Albertslund Honda Accord Euro-R 42 15. Carsten Leveau København Seat Leon 38 16. Robert Schlünssen Tyskland Peugeot 407 30 17. Jens Møller Ikast Honda Accord Euro-R 28 18. Gunnar Kristensen Klampenborg Seat Leon 27 19. Michael Carlsen Vissenbjerg Peugeot407 23 Peter Ager Esbjerg BMW 320i E4623 21. Martin Pedersen Køge Peugeot 407 19 22. David Falch Roskilde Peugeot 407 13 23. Kristian Poulsen Padborg BMW 320si E90 11 24. René Rasmussen Frederikssund BMW 320si E90 10 25. Henrik Møller Sørensen Vejle Seat Toledo 1
Championship positions - privateers:
1. Michael Outzen Ringe BMW 320si E90 203 2. Tom Pedersen Christiansfeld BMW 320i E46 161 3. Philip Andersen Risskov BMW 320si E90 156 4. Carsten Leveau København Seat Leon 120 5. Gunnar Kristensen Klampenborg Seat Leon 101 6. Kasper Jensen Aalborg Peugeot 407 98 7. Jens Møller Ikast Honda Accord Euro-R 96 8. Peter Ager Esbjerg BMW 320i E46 82 9. Martin Pedersen Køge Peugeot 407 74 10. Michael Carlsen Vissenbjerg Peugeot 407 67 11. Robert Schlünssen Tyskland Peugeot 407 62 12. René Rasmussen Frederikssund BMW 320si E90 59 13. Kristian Poulsen Padborg BMW 320si E90 57 14. David Falch Roskilde Peugeot 407 44 15. Camilla Stephansen Horsens Toyota Corolla T-Sport 35 16. John Hansen Kruså Alfa Romeo 156 32 17. Jesper Ternvalt Havdrup BMW 320i E46 31 18. Henrik Møller Sørensen Vejle Seat Toledo 22 19. Johnny V. Nielsen Holbæk Peugeot 307 4
Championship positions - teams:
1. Team Essex 260 2. JM Racing 230 3. Den Blå Avis Fleggaard Racing 189 4. Seat Racing Team 175 5. Chevrolet Motorsport Danmark 167 6. Hartmann Honda Racing 118 7. Poulsen Motorsport 92 8. Team Essex Development 82 9. Team Sturup Raceway 62 10. Autoforum Racing Team Silkeborg 61 11.JM Racing II 33 12. Team Go Racing 30 13. Carlsen Motorsport 23 14. Team Peugeot DTC Køge 19 15. Markland Racing1
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