Michel Nykjaer is a Danish former racing driver who was a champion several times in national and European touring car competitions.
He was a champion once in the Danish Group N Championship (Yokohama Cup 2000, 2002), two times in the Danish Touring Car Championship (2007, 2009) and two times in the European Touring Car Cup (2007, 2008). The most recent championship titles came in 2016 and 2017 when he won the Danish Supertourisme Turbo series.
In the World Touring Car Championship, Nykjaer recorded 68 starts between 2009 and 2013, scoring three WTCC victories and seven podiums.
Danish Group N champion early in a career
Born in Tappernøje, Michel Nykjær spent the most of his teenage years in karting competitions. He was out of racing few years and then returned to race tracks in 1998, entering Danish Group N championship (Goodyear Eagle Cup) for touring cars. He was driving a Peugeot 106.
In 1999, the series was renamed to Yokohama Cup and Nykjaer spent four more seasons in that competition. In 2000, he switched from Peugeot 106 to Seat Ibiza 1.8T, finishing 8th in the final standings. In 2001, Nykjaer was a championship runner-up, behind Brian Olsen, and then he became Class 2000 champion in 2002, driving a Seat Ibiza for Seat Valvoline Racing.
Danish Touring Car Championship debut in 2003
With championship trophy in his hands, Nykjaer progressed to the Danish Touring Car Championship in 2003, continuing to drive for Valvoline-sponsored Seat team. His race car was a Seat Toledo Cupra. He was the race winner once, finishing 11th in the points.
In 2004, he won three times to finish fourth in the points. Next year, he ended a season sixth in the classification. In 2005, Nykjaer also made a debut in the European Touring Car Cup which took place at Vallelunga Circuit. In 2006, he finished fifth in the DTCC and then came his most successful season.
Double touring car champion in 2007
In 2007, Nykjaer became Danish touring car champion but also won the European Touring Car Cup. In the national championship, he was driving Seat Leon for Seat Racing Team, scoring six wins and twelve podiums in 24 races.
In October 2007, he participated in the FIA European Touring Car Cup at Adria International Raceway in Italy. It was a two-race event in which he was driving the #24 Seat Leon for GR Asia team. He was second in Race 1 and the winner in Race 2, becoming an overall winner.
One more ETCC triumph in 2008
For 2008, Nykjaer joined Poulsen Motorsport to drive a BMW 320si E90 in the Danish Touring Car Championship. He finished fourth in the points, scoring two wins and four podiums.
In October 2008, the European Touring Car Cup took place at Salzburgring. Nykjaer was driving the #1 Chevrolet Lacetti for Perfection Racing/Chevrolet Motorsport Denmark, defending the ETCC title with a victory in Race 1 and second place in Race 2.
2009 - WTCC debut and one more DTCC title
In 2009, Nykjaer was supposed to race for Poulsen Motorsport in the World Touring Car Championship but that deal failed, so he continued to race in the Danish Touring Car Championship with Perfection Racing. His Chevrolet Lacetti was a winning car in four races and he took his second DTCC title.
However, he made a WTCC debut in September at Oschersleben, driving a Lacetti for Perfection Racing. With the same car, in October, he came to the FIA ETCC event in Portugal. He was 4th in Race 1 and retired in the second race.
2010 – first full season in the WTCC
In 2010, Nykjaer was back in the cockpit of Seat, participating full season in the World Touring Car Championship. He was driving the #17 Seat Leon 2.0 TDI for Spanish team SUNRED Engineering. Without wins or podiums, he finished 11th in the overall classification and second among rookies.
In the 2010 FIA European Touring Car Cup, Nykjaer won all four races he participated in, but he finished second in the points because he missed one round.
2011 - one more WTCC season with Seat
In 2011, Nykjaer stayed with SUNRED Engineering in the WTCC. After three rounds, he switched from Seat Leon 2.0 TDI to Seat Leon 1.6T. He scored his maiden WTCC podium in Japanese round at Suzuka Circuit, finishing third in the first race. At the end of the season, he was 10th overall and second among independent drivers.
His other commitments during 2011 were some races with Chevrolet Team Sweden's Chevrolet Cruze in the FIA European Touring Car Cup and Scandinavian Touring Car Championship but without notable results.
Third place in the 2012 STCC season
In 2012, Nykjaer joined Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden for a full season in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, driving the #4 Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T. His teammate was Rickard Rydell. With five wins, Nykjaer finished third in the championship standings, behind Volkswagen's Johan Kristoffersson and Rickard Rydell.
In July 2012, Nykjaer participated in the Brazilian WTCC round at Autodromo Internacional de Curitiba, driving a Chevrolet Cruze for bamboo engineering.
2013 - three WTCC wins with NIKA Racing's Chevrolet
In 2013, Nykjaer returned to the WTCC as a member of Swedish team NIKA Racing. He was driving the #17 Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T. In the second round of the season, in Marrakech, he captured his maiden WTCC victory. Another win came in the Austrian round at Salzburgring and then the third win in the Russian round at Moscow Raceway.
Despite winning races, Nykjaer split with the team after the American round at Sonoma Raceway, being replaced for the last three WTCC rounds in Asia. At the end of the season, he was 7th in the overall standings and third among independent drivers.
Double program of races in 2015
Nykjaer was out of racing in 2014, spending a time as Zenvo test driver and participating in just one race, the 24 hours of Barcelona, where he finished second in class in AD Racing's Renault Clio. He fully returned to race tracks in 2015 with a double program, for Target Competition in the TCR International Series but also for Image Racing in the Danish Supertourisme Turbo series. He participated in seven (of eleven) TCR rounds, winning two races (Portimao and Salzburgring) and contributing to teams' championship title for Target Competition.
In the Danish Supertourisme, he was the race winner two times, finishing 15th in the points. He also took part in three races of the Danish Thundersport Championship, driving a Chevrolet Camaro.
Danish Supertourisme champion in 2016 and 2017
In 2016, the Danish Supertourisme series became Nykjaer's only competition. He joined Prego Racing to drive Kia Mitjet car. He won seven times in 21 races to take championship title after a long time.
In 2017, Nykjaer stayed with Prego Racing, trying to defend a championship title. He scored no wins but 13 podiums over the season was good enough to take another title.