Florian Thoma cruises to victory from reverse grid pole

After yesterday’s frantic season opener at Oschersleben, fans and drivers alike were eagerly looking forward to the second race of the weekend.

With the top 10 quickest drivers of Saturday’s qualifying lining up in reversed positions, Florian Thoma (Junior Team Engstler, Volkswagen) had the honours of starting round 2 from pole position. He was joined on the front row by Pascal Eberle (Steibel Motorsport, SEAT), with yesterday’s race winner Josh Files (Target Competition, Honda) sitting in seventh.

Once the lights went out, the field again had no issues handling the narrow 90 degree esses at the end of the start/finish straight. It was pole sitter Thoma who had a blistering getaway, putting almost four car lengths between him and second place, which was swiftly taken over by Tim Zimmermann in his Audi, fielded by Target Competition.

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Meanwhile it took defending champion Josh Files just two laps to advance to third place, before all efforts of cutting further through the pack were halted by Niels Langeveld (RacingOne, Audi). The Dutchman locked up his tyres going into turn one, immediately trying to rejoin the track, but ultimately beaching his car in the gravel, shortly before making it back onto the tarmac again. Subsequently the safety car was called into action to allow the marshals to lift out the stranded Audi.

At the same time just one corner further back, another incident saw Kristian Poulsen (Team Engstler, Volkswagen) and Rudolf Rhyn (TOPCAR Sport, SEAT) giving each other a push. Rhyn’s car promptly succumbed to the damage, forcing the Swiss to pull his SEAT Leon to the side of the track.

The restart that followed just a few minutes later saw Thoma defending his first place seemingly with ease. Though closer than before, Zimmermann and Files were not able to make a move on the rookie driver.

A ten-minute sprint under green flag conditions then suddenly came to an abrupt end again, as Moritz Oestreich’s ADAC Sachsen Honda spontaneously combusted. Oestreich extracted himself from his smouldering Honda Civic, putting on a 50 meter sprint to fetch the nearest fire extinguisher – all while the safety car once again neutralised the race.

With two laps to go the Honda safety car peeled off into the pits, leaving the field to race again. Leader Florian Thoma had no issues defending his position and kept clinging onto his position with confidence, as the two Target Competition cars of Zimmermann and Files were putting on the kettle.

The final bit of drama eventually took place at the final corner on the last lap, when Maurits Sandberg (RacingOne, Audi) made contact with Stefan Goede (Team Engstler USA, Volkswagen), putting an end to both their races just a few hundred metres short of finish line.

Yet all the events on track could not hinder Florian Thoma from taking a commanding first ever victory in the TCR Germany championship. He got chased over the line by Target Competition team mates Tim Zimmermann and Josh Files, followed by a third Target car of José Rodrigues – whose heart must have sunk to his boots after catching a big wiggle coming out of the final turn. PROsport driver Sheldon van der Linde completed the top 5.

The next round of the ADAC TCR Germany will take place at the picturesque Red Bull Ring from July 9 to 11.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 39 Florian THOMA Junior Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 18 31:52.932 1:35.415 1
2 99 Tim ZIMMERMANN Target Competition Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 0.920 1:35.515 3
3 1 Josh FILES Target Competition UK-SUI Honda Civic Type R TCR 18 1.425 1:35.537 7
4 27 José RODRIGUES Target Competition 2 Honda Civic Type R TCR 18 2.483 1:35.849 5
5 18 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE Prosport Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 2.516 1:35.873 8
6 28 Pascal EBERLE Steibel Motorsport SEAT León TCR 18 2.838 1:35.948 2
7 94 Kris RICHARD Target Competition Honda Civic Type R TCR 18 3.606 1:36.029 10
8 10 Antti BURI LMS Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 4.630 1:36.112 14
9 44 Sandro KAIBACH Aust Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 5.047 1:36.234 4
10 22 Harald PROCZYK HP Racing SEAT León TCR 18 5.426 1:35.973 15
11 98 Tom LAUTENSCHLAGER Target Competition Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 5.828 1:35.898 12
12 41 Steve KIRSCH Team Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type R TCR 18 7.621 1:36.207 9
13 36 Dino CALCUM Lubner Motorsport Opel Astra TCR 18 7.960 1:36.499 19
14 2 Alex MORGAN Wolf-Power Racing 2 SEAT León TCR 18 8.340 1:36.588 21
15 13 Kai JORDAN Racing One Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 18 10.355 1:36.372 29
16 8 Luca ENGSTLER Junior Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 18 11.420 1:36.895 27
17 77 Juuso-Matti PAJURANTA Positione Motorsport Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 18 11.586 1:36.243 16
18 11 Jürgen SCHMARL Target Competition AUT-POR Honda Civic Type R TCR 18 11.838 1:37.244 11
19 54 Simon REICHER Certainty Racing Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 12.284 1:36.984 24
20 38 Jason WOLFE Team Engstler USA Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 18 12.802 1:37.391 22
21 82 Thomas KRAMWINKEL GermanFLAVOURS Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 13.354 1:37.165 23
22 19 Max HOFER Prosport Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 13.546 1:35.836 6
23 66 Ronny JOST TOPCAR Sport SEAT León TCR 18 14.018 1:37.465 31
24 23 Sebastien STEIBEL Steibel Motorsport Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 18 14.714 1:37.503 26
25 12 Simon LARSSON Target Competition SWE-POL Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 15.281 1:37.686 20
26 20 Niko KANKKUNEN LMS Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 15.468 1:37.530 41
27 3 Gosia RDEST Target Competition SWE-POL Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 16.283 1:38.112 38
28 5 Kristian POULSEN Team Engstler Dänemark Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 18 17.130 1:37.818 36
29 64 Sven MARKERT GermanFLAVOURS Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 18.522 1:36.917 17
30 17 Jasmin PREISIG Lubner Motorsport Opel Astra TCR 18 23.917 1:37.510 34
31 83 Martin NIEDERTSCHEIDER Niedertscheider MSP SEAT León TCR 18 26.121 1:39.150 39
32 78 Fabian DANZ Schläppi Race-Tec SEAT León Cup Racer 18 33.861 1:38.248 33
33 24 Robin BREZINA Aust Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 18 46.936 1:37.250 30
34 9 Stefan GOEDE Team Engstler USA Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 17 1 LAP 1:38.061 40
35 84 Maurits SANDBERG Racing One 2 Audi RS3 LMS TCR 17 1 LAP 1:38.076 32
36 4 Roland POULSEN Team Engstler Dänemark Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 15 3 LAPS 1:39.175 37
37 88 Moritz OESTREICH Team Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type R TCR 13 5 LAPS 1:36.644 18
R 40 Dillon KOSTER Certainty Racing Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 8 DNF 1:38.311 28
R 14 Niels LANGEVELD Racing One Audi RS3 LMS TCR 4 DNF 1:36.303 13
R 35 Rudolf RHYN TOPCAR Sport SEAT León TCR 3 DNF 1:38.358 35
R 7 Mike HALDER Wolf-Power Racing 2 SEAT León TCR 1 DNF N/A 25
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