Remarkable comeback for Louise Frost at Classic Race Aarhus
After Saturday's bad luck and a gearbox repair overnight, Louise Frost bounced back in the two TCR Denmark races on Sunday, scoring great points and equalling her best result in the series on the streets of Aarhus.
Just like the previous days, Sunday's morning started grey and cold, then quickly transitioned into an exciting day of racing action at the Classic Race Aarhus festival.
The spectacle of this family-friendly show dedicated to car enthusiasts included the final two races of the TCR Denmark's fifth round of the season and many people decided to spend their Sunday at Denmark´s "little Goodwood".
After the technical problems and bad luck that marked her Saturday on track, Danish race car driver Louise Frost had the gearbox of her #94 Honda Civic Type R TCR car fixed overnight - with some extra work from the crew of TPR Motorsport. Frost had her qualifying and first race hampered by issues and could only run in first gear before ultimately retiring.
The hard-working team found bits of the second gear cog inside the gearbox oil - which was fixed by the mechanics - before having to focus on a subsequent pressure issue.
"When you have solved a problem, the next one is just around the corner it seems" - Louise told us. Eventually, the car was repaired in time for Race 2, scheduled for 11:00 am on a cold and windy track.
The second race of the weekend got underway with Kenn Back from reverse grid pole, with the top 6 finishers from Race 1 reversing their order in the first three rows of the grid.
Philip Lindberg and Casper Elgaar followed the poleman; Elgaar had the best start, passed both his rivals and moved into the lead of the race.
The Safety Car was deployed when Gustav Birch tried to pass Johnny Vejlebo, hit the rear end of the #5 Peugeot 308 TCR car and damaged his own front end. Birch was later disqualified from official results of the race.
At the restart, Elgaard defended his lead against Markussen, before taking the chequered flag for his third win of the season. Markussen was second and Jensen stepped on the final step of the podium.
Louise Frost had a good race after the troubled Saturday: she started from the back of the grid but kept it clean. Later, she touched the wall with her right rear wheel - which resulted in a slightly misaligned toe and therefore more difficult cornering.
Nevertheless, Frost had good pace, but was forced to back off a bit when the engine temperature went up at the end of the race due to leaves blocking the radiator - a problem also reported by other teams throughout the weekend. Frost finished 11th and took home some motivation for the last race of the day.
The sun was making its way through the clouds ahead of the third and final race of the weekend - but it was not a good omen for some of the drivers. Jan Magnussen started from pole position, ahead of Casper Elgaard and Kasper Jensen.
Jensen had a really good start and tried to pass in between his opponents; the gap between Magnussen and Elgaard ultimately closed, resulting in the three cars making contact. Magnussen bounced off the right barrier and came back across the track - and his LM Racing's CUPRA was collected by Bach and Sylvest as well.
The race was red flagged to allow the recovery of the cars and to clean the track before the restart. Magnussen, Sætheren and Carlsen were out of the race due to the damages collected, while Bach could return to the pits and rejoin the race on new tyres. Nicolai Sylvest retired in the pitlane.
At the new start, it was Elgaard on pole, ahead of Jensen - who made the best start and passed Elgaard for the lead, followed by Markussen. Elgaard was out of the race when he hit the inside wall at the chicane and broke his front-right suspension - followed by Lindberg, who slammed into the wall and spun at the same point.
Jensen took victory ahead of Markussen and Mathiassen to extend his championship lead with a gap of 28 points ahead of Elgaard. Markussen now moves into third in the standings.
Louise Frost saw the first lap crash unfolding right in front of her and had to take evasive action; she spun and brushed the wall, but her TPR Motorsport's Honda escaped serious damages when the race was red flagged. She was thus able to rejoin the grid after she had maneuvered out of the scene.
At the restart, Frost showed some serious pace and she applied pressure on her teammate William Nyberg, who had some damage from the opening accident as well.
She got past him after several laps, but her rhythm allowed her to quickly close in on the VW Golf of Rene Junker Povlsen.
Frost eased off on the straights after noticing a knocking sound but was way faster in the slower corners. The tight track layout, though, did not allow for daring moves, so she settled for a very strong sixth place at the end.
She equalled her best result in the series, claimed at the Copehnagen street circuit last August.
A happy Louise Frost is now looking forward to Jyllandsringen, sixth round of the 2021 TCR Denmark championship from 2nd to 3rd October.