TCR World and life

The season has started in a near-perfect way for you, with five wins from the first six races. How do you see the championship and who do you think are your most serious rivals? “Obviously, we were very happy with the first race weekends with five wins and six fastest laps, so nearly maximum points. That’s probably an unrealistic target for the rest of the season! The team performed fantastically so far, and we had a good pre-season test programme as well, so we knew we would be near the front. Obviously, expectations are high but, unfortunately, I will miss one event this year because of a clash with Le Mans. However, if we can perform like we did so far, then I will have a chance of clinching the title. But right now, we’re racing for race wins, and we’ll see what happens at the end. In terms of the main competitors, I think these first races gave a good picture of who we’ll be fighting – I think it’ll be the usual crowd. Kasper H. Jensen is very strong, the same with Casper Elgaard, my teammate Nicolai Sylvest and a few others that I’m sure will be in the mix, if not for the whole season, then on a race-by-race basis.” You’ve gained a lot of experience in all kinds of racing categories and cars. How do you rate the TCR category compared to the Touring Cars you have raced in previous years? “For sure, the TCR is the best front-wheel drive Touring Car I’ve ever driven. It’s come a long way from the old Super 2000 rules that we used to have before we went to the American- made cars here in Denmark. They feel like proper race cars, you have to treat them like proper race cars; the adjustments, the thinking, the preparation and everything that goes into a proper race car, and I enjoy that. I think every driver wants more grip, more power, but it’s a very even championship all around the world and there’s a lot of interest from fans that can relate better I think, especially compared to the last period of the DTC championship - fun cars but nobody could really relate to them, so maybe they were not super-interesting for the fans. But these cars you can actually go and buy something similar and so I think it attracts ‘brand fans’ a lot easier than anything else, so for me it’s the only place to be if you want to be in a top category at national level.” This year, you switched from the Volkswagen Golf GTI to the CUPRA Leon Competición. What are the pros and cons of the switch?” “There are only pros, there are no cons! The CUPRA is a fantastic race car, we have a great relationship with CUPRA in Spain and we also have a great working relationship with PWR Racing in Sweden, and so I really enjoy driving the car. During the first weekend we’ve had a wet-ish track, and the car was pretty good there. We hadn’t had the chance to try the car in full wet or dry conditions there, but in the second event the track was dry for the races, and we had a lot of compensation weight which we had to deal with. Despite all this the car performed very well. We have already had better success with this car than we had with the VW last year. It’s also a big step up for us as the Golf was an older-spec car, a Generation-1 car, and the CUPRA is the best you can get now. It’s easier to understand and so far it’s been easier to replicate again and again. We’ll see how we’ll go.” Three questions to… JanMagnussen Arguably the most famous and successful Danish racing driver, Jan Magnussen has always had a many-sided talent that helped him to emerge in single-seater, sportscar and touring car competitions alike. During his long career he has been twice crowned Danish Touring Car champion and this year he seems set to add a third title, that of TCR Denmark.