Nykjaer Wins Wet Race One At Franciacorta

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Michel Nykjaer took his third win from three races in the European Touring Car Cup, winning the first race at Franciacorta in Italy in wet conditions.

The Danish SUNRED SEAT Leon TDI driver got the better of polesitter and standings leader James Thompson off the line, passing him at Turn 1. Nykjaer went on to score a straightforward and dominant win.

Thomson, driving a Honda Accord Euro R for Danish team Hartmann Racing, also lost second place on the opening lap to the similar, but privately-run, machine of Tomas Engstrom. He remained close to the Swede for much of the race as he tried to regain the place, but dropped back later on.

The front three were running at a considerably faster pace than the rest of the field, with Thompson's teammate Wolfgang Treml finishing over a minute off the winner in fourth after a quiet race. Ibrahim Okyay finished fifth in his BMW, with Peter Rikli sixth in his Honda Civic. Rikli had started at the back of the grid after having his qualifying times disallowed for failing to comply with ride height requirements.  He was running in fifth, before being passed by Okyay on lap 16.

The remaining Super 2000 cars were all lapped, with Jorg Schori finishing seventh in his Honda Accord, Aytac Biter eighth in his BMW and Massimo Zanin ninth, the latter spinning at the final corner of the race and losing his eighth place, which also brings pole position for the second race.

Carsten Seifert won the Super 1600 category, finishing tenth overall in his Ford Fiesta, while Vojislav Lekic won Super Production, the Serbian finishing 11th overall in his Honda Civic Type-R. Lekic lost the class lead to Fabio Fabiani by spinning on lap two in the slippery conditions, before retaking the position, while Fabiani lost further ground by spinning later on.

Thompson's lead in the Super 2000 standings has now been cut to eight points ahead of the final race, with both Nykjaer and Engstrom tied for second place.

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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