Michel Nykjaer has successfully defended the European Touring Car Cup following a victory and a second place finish in the event at the Salzburgring circuit in Austria.

The Danish driver, on his first outing in a Chevrolet Lacetti, took victory in the opening race after a long battle with former winner Richard Goransson, and then took second place in race two behind Spaniard Oscar Nogues to secure the crown.

Italian driver Fabio Fabiani took a double win in the Super Production class to lift the SP title while the S1600 honours went the way of Ralf Martin, who took a pair of class honours in his Ford Fiesta.

Goransson took the early lead at the start of race one as he jumped ahead of poleman Nykjaer at the rolling start. Behind them there was a collision at the first chicane between BMW drivers Jan Nilsson and Franz Engstler. Nilsson spun and rejoined, while Engstler was hit by Oscar Nogues and was forced into retirement.

On lap three Nogues overtook Kristan Poulsen for third; the latter losing one more place to the Honda of Tomas Engstrom. Out front, Goransson and Nykjaer were moving away from the pack, and on lap five Nykjaer took the lead from Goransson at turn nine.

Engstrom was chasing Nogues closely, but their cars collided at turn twelve and the Swede's Honda Accord spun off, hit the barriers and retired.

At the beginning of lap nine, Goransson took the lead once again from Nykjaer at turn one, but the Chevrolet ace didn't give up and managed to jump ahead at the beginning of the penultimate lap at the same corner. Despite Goransson trying to fight back, Nykjaer was able to secure the win ahead of Goransson, with Nogues third.

Fabiani led the Super Production class from the start although he was closely chased by Nikolay Karamishev, while in the Super 1600 class, pole sitter Martin claimed victor, with Andrii Kruglik beating Carsten Seifert for the second place.

In race two, Mikko Eskelinen made a great start from second on the reverse grid and jumped to the lead, but he braked too late and hit the tyres at the first chicane. Behind him Jan Nilsson clashed with Campani?o and spun, collecting his team-mate Goransson.

Nogues' SEAT Le?n escaped from the chaos and built a gap ahead of Campani?o, Jens-Reno M?ller, Kristian Poulsen and Michel Nykjaer. On the second lap Campani?o also spun at the first chicane, forcing those who were behind to drive on the grass in avoidance.

This gave Nogues the opportunity to stretch his leading margin over a pack formed by Poulsen, Alexander Lvov, George Tanev, Franz Engstler, M?ller, Nykjaer and Goransson.

The fight for second position intensified as drivers swapped positions lap after lap; on the fourth Nykjaer overtook Lvov for second place and two laps later the Russian lost also third position to G?ransson. On lap nine Tanev went off into the gravel, while Lvov spun and slipped down to eleventh.

With Nogues and Nykjaer safe in first and second respectively, the final laps focused on the fight for third position between G?ransson and Engstler, who finished in that order.

Nykjaer's second place was enough to give him the crown, making him the first driver to successfully defend the title.

"It is just unbelievable to win for the second time in a row," he said. "This is the craziest race I have ever had. There were so many accidents at the start. The fight with G?ransson in the first race was tough; we had very good competition and I knew that if could stay at the front for the last two laps I might win the race. That was my plan but he was also very fast. Maybe I was a bit luckier today.

"At the start of race two I could see that there were many cars crashed and a lot of stones on the track. Then I could feel that the car had no good grip and I thought there might be a problem with the tyres, but I decided to push and I overtook the other cars one after another. I drove safely in the last two laps to take the flag."

Fabiani repeated his race one victory in Super Production, as did Ralf Martin in the Super 1600 class after a tough fight with Seifert which ensured they successfully wrapped up their respective titles.

"I am very happy and satisfied with my results," Fabiani said. "My car was perfect and I thank the team for doing a very good job. The races were not easy because we had a brake problem during the first one; we tried to fix it before the second race, but it did not work. And again I had to fight with my brakes and keep Karamishev behind."

"I am very happy," S1600 winner Martin added. "In the first race I pushed the car hard and then I managed to keep the gap from the second. In the second race I had a good fight with Carsten Seifert and Andrii Kruglik. I am happy with the car, it was very good and I thank the team."

In the Nations Cup, Nykjaer and Kristian Poulsen ensured Denmark took the trophy ahead of Swedish pairing Goransson and Nilsson.

European Touring Car Cup S2000 Standings (Top 3):

1. Michel NykjaerChevrolet Motorsport DenmarkChevrolet Lacetti18 points
2. Oscar NoguesSUNRED EngineeringSEAT Leon16 points
3. Richard Goransson Flash EngineeringBMW 320si14 points

European Touring Car Cup Super Production Standings (Top 3):

1. Fabio FabianiF.MotorsportBMW 320i 20 points SP
2. Nikolay Karamishev Sport-GarageVolkswagen Golf VI 16 points SP
3. Egons LapinsSpice Racing TeamHonda Integra Type-R 12 points SP

European Touring Car Cup S1600 Standings (Top 3):

1. Ralf MartinTLM Team Lauderbach MotorsportFord Fiesta ST 20 points S1600
2. Carsten SiefertNK Racing TeamFord Fiesta ST 14 points S1600
3. Andrii KruglikTLM Team Lauderbach MotorsportFord Fiesta ST 14 points S1600

European Touring Car Cup Nations Cup Standings:

1. Denmark26 points
2. Sweden19 points
3. Spain16 points
4. Portugal6 points
5. Germany5 points
6. Finland3 points



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