Michael Markussen wins red flag interrupted TCR Denmark finale in Copenhagen
Markussen Racing’s Michael Markussen claimed victory in the final TCR Denmark race of the weekend on the streets of Copenhagen following a lengthy red flag.
From pole, Markussen got a clean start and just about kept heat two winner Sylvest at bay as the field entered the first corner.
Despite a far more circumspect opening lap than the morning’s encounter, the race was soon red flagged at the start of the second tour after Marius Solberg Hansen hit the barriers at turn five. Auto Lounge Racing team-mate Christian Skaar followed Solberg Hansen into the barriers shortly after while the Cupra of Lars Højris Nielsen also suffered terminal damage.
The race was stopped for around half an hour while barrier repairs were made, while rain also fell during the interruption which forced teams to switch to wet tyres for the restart.
Racing resumed with just over 12 minutes remaining, with Markussen maintaining his lead from Nicolai Sylvest and Kasper Jensen behind.
Although Sylvest appeared to be the quicker driver in second, Markussen was able to withstand the pressure piled on by the sister Cupra León Competición as the pair lapped within a tenth of a second of each other for most of the race.
Jensen was also keeping touch with the two leaders and soon helped give Markussen a two-second advantage in the lead as he attempted to get past Sylvest entering the closing stages.
Try as he might, Jensen could not find a way past Sylvest and the top three suddenly closed right up again with two laps remaining.
Sylvest brought the gap down to under half a second on the final lap but Markussen just about clung on to record the victory, with Jensen completing the podium in third.
Away from the podium fight, Mike Halder drove a clean race to finish fourth, staving off Jan Magnussen who scored point for fifth after retiring in heat two. Silas Rytter was sixth, just ahead of Gustav Birch’s Honda Civic Type-R.
Kevin Engman was a somewhat distant eighth, with René Junker Povlsen and Allan Kristensen rounding out the top ten finishers.
Sylvest shares the championship lead on 189 points, with Mike Halder third on 187. The next race takes place at Jyllandsringen on August 18-19.