Young Danes coming to the fore


You may remember that at the start of the season I wrote about the rise and rise of some talented young Danes, all of them beginning to attract some serious attention in both Europe and the United States.

It has been a year of triumph and tragedy. Tom Kristensen re-wrote the history books when he won Le Mans for the ninth time while on the same weekend Allan Simonsen was killed when he crashed in the opening laps. The Dansk Automobil Sports Union (DASU) has already raised a remarkable £35,000 in a fund for Allan’s family.

Meanwhile Kevin Magnussen, son of Jan, is said by many to be on his way to F1 in 2014 following some impressive results for DAMS in the World Series and topping the timesheets at the Young Driver test at Silverstone last week. Lotus Junior Driver Marco Sorensen, who won both Renault 3.5 races at the Red Bull Ring last weekend, is also attracting the attention of folk in the F1 paddock. Two to keep a close eye on and both given a leg up the ‘staircase of talent’ by DASU.

Elsewhere, the Porsche Super Cup has recently been dominated by Michael Christensen and Nicki Thiim. Young Christensen, a Porsche Junior driver in the DAMS team, is leading the Rookie class while Thiim, son of DTM Champion and Danish hero Kurt Thiim, won the Super Cup race at Silverstone.

And there’s more. Teenage kart racer Nicklas Nielsen went into the final round of the European Championship with a healthy lead only to be punted off in the final by the eventual winner’s team-mate… but all was not lost as yet another Dane, Christian Sorensen, was elevated to the podium as a result. DASU Sports Director Bo Baltzer Nielsen (no relation) describes the 16-year-old Nicklas Nielsen as a ‘super talent’. Another one to watch, over in the World Touring Car series, is privateer Michel Nykjaer who lies second in the championship with three wins under his belt thus far.

But it’s not all about the new kids on the block. On the other side of the Atlantic Jan Magnussen has been winning races in ALMS and has been invited to test for the famous Hendrick team in NASCAR where, as we know, the ‘old boys’ have made a big impression.

So, that’s the mid-term dispatch from the tiny land of the Vikings. Plenty of triumph to make up for the tragedy and, thanks in part to the work of DASU, some very talented youngsters clawing their way up the ladder. It’s been a long time since we had a Dane in Grand Prix racing but we may not have to wait too much longer. Meanwhile Tom Kristensen deservedly remains the King of Sport in Denmark.

In closing, let us hope that our own MSA and BRDC succeed in producing the British stars of the future. We, after all, have a far bigger population from which to choose the Hamiltons and Buttons of the decades to come.

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