Troubled start of Classic Race Aarhus for Louise Frost
The Classic Race at Aarhus is a big family festival with TCR Denmark at the centre of it - among the starters is TPR Motorsport's Louise Frost. Unfortunately, a gearbox issue slowed her down during qualifying and halted her race early on at the street circuit.
The fifth round of the TCR Denmark championship - one of the most crowded TCR fields in Europe with its over 20 entries and its six marques - got underway in Aarhus, Denmark, as part of the popular Classic Race event. The day started cold and grey in the Danish coastal city, as the TCR cars headed towards the pitlane of the street circuit for the qualifying session, setting up the grids for the upcoming three races this weekend. 19 drivers battled out on the streets of Aarhus - which feature tight passages and a big crowd. Among the entries is Louise Frost, Danish racing driver that has turned heads with her remarkable debut in the series at Copenhagen. Unfortunately, technical issues at the previous round at Jyllandsringen prevented Frost from taking part in the races; the TPR Motorsport's Honda Civic Type R TCR was back on track on Friday at Aarhus, setting promising lap times and finishing the practice sessions in ninth and eighth place respectively. On Saturday, tough, technical gremlins were back to annoy the young woman. In qualifying, returning driver Jan Magnussen - who had missed the last two rounds due to an accident in Copenhagen and a clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans at Jyllandsringen - set a stunning lap in the session and outqualified teammate Nicolai Sylvest by over seven-tenths of a second to claim a 1-2 for LM Racing. Third placed was championship leader Kasper Jensen. Louise Frost tried to confirm her Friday's pace, but the #94 Honda was simply not running as it should have; with just two laps in the session, she qualified in 19th place. During the long break before the first and only race on Saturday, the team tried to find out what the problem was and fix the issue. "In the training sessions there was nothing and in qualifying we couldn't tell exactly and tried to do something. It sounded good, because we put the car up and spun the wheel and it sounded really good." - Frost told us. "And then when I was about to line-up, I just was turning and turning and I could hear something that sounded weird. But I just wanted to drive and see." The first race was all about Jan Magnussen again, as he started from pole and, together with teammate Nicolai Sylvest, they comfortably held the lead. At the back-end of the field, there was drama when Allan Kristensen made contact with another driver and was forced to retire, while Kim Lund Johansen stopped with a flat tyre. Louise Frost retired with a gearbox issue, after she was only able to take to the track in first gear. She made her way back to the pits and the team put the car up on the jacks, before sending her out again for another lap - but the problem persisted and she was ultimately forced to retire. "It is the gearbox, but I could feel it already when I was driving to the grid." - Louise Frost explained to us. "We hope to fix it and put a whole new gearbox in it."
Problems weren't over though, as Jacob Mathiassen was slowed down by a turbo pressure issue and was forced to retire from fourth position, while Jan Magnussen pulled away and his follower and teammate Sylvest picked up a puncture and lost one lap before returning to the pits.
Jan Magnussen won by 9,58 seconds, ahead of Kasper Jensen and Michael Markussen.
Louise Frost´s team TPR Racing will change the gearbox for the new race day on Sunday at Classic Race Aarhus, with two races coming up - at 11:00 and 13:55 local time - hopefully with more luck for the Danish lady of the Championship.