Photo: TCR Denmark

Mike Halder and Kasper Jensen share Padborg opener wins

Mike Halder won two out of three races in the TCR Denmark opener at Padborg Park while reigning champion Kasper Jensen claimed the win in race two.

The first race of the weekend saw Jensen starting from pole, but the RaceGroup driver was beaten into Turn 1 by Halder.

The TPR Motorsport driver never looked back and held the lead until the end of the race, despite an early safety car session.

The safety car was called into action on the first lap as Malte Ebdrup turned in on René Povlsen, resulting in a spin and retirement from both. Ebdrup was also disqualified from the race due to the incident.

Halder won the race ahead of Honda colleague Jensen by six tenths of a second while Cupra Léon VZ TCR driver Michael Markussen claimed the final podium position.

Hyundai driver Silas Rytter and Jacob Wunderov (Honda) rounded off the top five.

Race 2

The second race saw Gustav Birch starting from the reversed grid pole, claiming the lead as the lights went out.

But Jensen made a rocket start from seventh place to snatch second place after just a couple of corners. The four-time champion claimed the lead from team-mate Birch before the end of the first lap.

Race 1 winner Halder meanwhile had a tougher time to climb the order, clinching fourth place from Wunderov with four minutes left of the race.

Halder then challenged his TPR Motorsport team-mate Philip Lindberg for third place, making the move stick on the penultimate lap.

The German driver quickly caught Birch and passed him on the last lap for second place. Birch seemed to suffer some kind of issue during the pass and fell behind Lindberg as well in a photo-finish between the two.

Jensen won the second race in style, more than ten second ahead of Halder while Lindberg claimed the final podium finish.

Birch came home in fourth ahead of Wunderov and Markussen.

Race 3

The third and final race saw Jensen starting on pole and just barely managed to keep ahead of Halder who made a stronger start.

Jensen then pulled up a gap, only to be reeled in as the race neared its end.

Halder was right on the back of his Honda rival with two minutes left of the race and the two made contact on the penultimate lap.

Halder bumped into the back of Jensen and got past, only for Jensen to repass a corner later.

But Halder didn’t give up and was able to claim the lead a couple of corners later after a thrilling battle.

TPR Motorsport driver Halder won the final race of the weekend by just eight tenths ahead of Jensen.

Lindberg made it a Honda 1-2-3 while Markussen held the flag high for Cupra in fourth place.

Insight Racing team-mates Rytter and Jacob Mathiassen rounded off the top six.

The second TCR Denmark race weekend of 2024 will be held at Jyllandsringen on May 11-12.