Starting from seventh on the grid, Josh Files (Target Competition, Honda) made a storming charge to the front of the field, to win the first race of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
After having claimed the first-ever pole for Opel in the ADAC TCR Germany championship on Friday, Dino Calcum (Lubner Motorsport, Opel) had a dreadful start to the 30-minute long race, forcing the young German to fall back to fifth spot.
Defending champion Files on the other hand had a great getaway, overtaking four cars before hitting the brakes to go into the first corner. The Briton went on to quietly take the lead before finishing the first lap, not giving it up for the remainder of the session.
A few laps into the race, contact between Antti Buri (LMS Racing, Audi) and Luca Engstler (Junior Team Engstler, VW) forced out the first of two safety cars. Having received a nudge from Buri turning into corner three, young Engstler got stuck in the gravel trap, ending any realistic chance of a top ten finish.
The following restart a few laps later went well for the leading Honda of Files. But before the 26-year old could pull away, the safety car got deployed once again, after Gosia Rdest (Target Competition, Honda) and Sven Markert (GermanFLAVOURS Racing, Audi) came together. Markert hit the outside wall on the exit of the final corner, which sent dirt and debris all over the race track.
With six minutes to go, Files once again got away to a clean restart and went off into the distance. But behind the 2016 champion, the battle for the final two steps of the podium was on. In a four-car battle for the final steps on the podium, Kris Richard (Target Competition, Honda) lost his potential top three finish after taking a detour through the gravel trap.
In the end, Mike Halder (Wolf-Power Racing 2, SEAT) had the honours of taking second place, followed closely by pole-setter Dino Calcum. Steve Kirsch (Honda Team ADAC Sachsen) lost out in the battle for the podium and had to settle for fourth.
Despite making contact earlier in the race, Antti Buri went on to become the highest placed Audi of the race in fifth position, with Sheldon van der Linde (AC 1927 Mayen, Audi) following in sixth.
Sandro Kaibach took his Aust Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS to seventh place, crossing the line just half a second in front of Jürgen Schmarl (Target Competition, Honda). The Austrian started the race all the way back from 17th.
Alex Morgan (Wolf-Power Racing 2, SEAT) made an even bigger charge, finishing the race in ninth after starting from the 28th starting box. The final car of the top ten finishers was the HP Racing SEAT Leon TCR of Harald Proczyk, last year’s TCR Germany vice champion.
Sunday’s second race at the Red Bull Ring will feature a reversed grid based on Friday’s qualifying results, meaning that rookie driver Robin Brezina is set to take his Aust Motorsport Audi to the first starting box. The race will start at 15:40 CEST (14:40 BST).
|1||1||Josh FILES||Target Competition UK-SUI||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||31:42.850||1:38.069||7|
|2||7||Mike HALDER||Wolf-Power Racing 2||SEAT León TCR||16||3.599||1:38.689||4|
|3||36||Dino CALCUM||Lubner Motorsport||Opel Astra TCR||16||4.594||1:38.659||1|
|4||41||Steve KIRSCH||Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||5.551||1:38.642||3|
|5||10||Antti BURI||LMS Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||6.440||1:38.798||5|
|6||18||Sheldon VAN DER LINDE||Prosport Performance||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||9.378||1:38.841||11|
|7||44||Sandro KAIBACH||Aust Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||11.764||1:39.218||8|
|8||11||Jürgen SCHMARL||Target Competition AUT-POR||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||12.231||1:39.318||16|
|9||2||Alex MORGAN||Wolf-Power Racing 2||SEAT León TCR||16||12.589||1:39.387||21|
|10||22||Harald PROCZYK||HP Racing||SEAT León TCR||16||13.111||1:38.727||18|
|11||39||Florian THOMA||Junior Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||16||15.217||1:39.642||20|
|12||14||Niels LANGEVELD||Racing One||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||16.060||1:39.075||39|
|13||88||Moritz OESTREICH||Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||16.390||1:38.926||38|
|14||54||Simon REICHER||Certainty Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||16.852||1:39.287||31|
|15||42||Lukas NIEDERTSCHEIDER||Niedertscheider MSP||SEAT León TCR||16||19.789||1:39.327||23|
|16||13||Kai JORDAN||Racing One||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||16||20.155||1:39.994||34|
|17||77||Juuso-Matti PAJURANTA||Positione Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||16||20.703||1:39.854||14|
|18||19||Max HOFER||Prosport Performance||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||20.967||1:39.246||27|
|19||40||Dillon KOSTER||Certainty Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||21.528||1:39.804||28|
|20||24||Robin BREZINA||Aust Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||22.150||1:40.068||9|
|21||66||Ronny JOST||TOPCAR Sport||SEAT León TCR||16||22.620||1:39.463||17|
|22||94||Kris RICHARD||Target Competition||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||22.961||1:38.224||2|
|23||35||Rudolf RHYN||TOPCAR Sport||SEAT León TCR||16||23.564||1:39.593||35|
|24||78||Fabian DANZ||Schläppi Race-Tec||SEAT León Cup Racer||16||24.544||1:39.839||30|
|25||84||Maurits SANDBERG||Racing One 2||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||26.415||1:39.958||37|
|26||12||Simon LARSSON||Target Competition SWE-POL||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||27.834||1:39.075||24|
|27||82||Thomas KRAMWINKEL||GermanFLAVOURS Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||35.639||1:39.558||33|
|28||27||José RODRIGUES||Target Competition 2||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||38.925||1:38.587||10|
|29||23||Sebastien STEIBEL||Steibel Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||16||39.864||1:40.484||36|
|30||28||Pascal EBERLE||Steibel Motorsport||SEAT León TCR||16||1:19.846||1:39.713||29|
|31||17||Jasmin PREISIG||Lubner Motorsport||Opel Astra TCR||15||1 LAP||1:39.106||13|
|R||9||Stefan GOEDE||Team Engstler USA||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||12||DNF||1:41.512||26|
|R||98||Tom LAUTENSCHLAGER||Target Competition||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||DNF||1:40.152||25|
|R||3||Gosia RDEST||Target Competition SWE-POL||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||DNF||1:38.822||19|
|R||38||Jason WOLFE||Team Engstler USA||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||7||DNF||1:39.503||15|
|R||64||Sven MARKERT||GermanFLAVOURS Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||7||DNF||1:41.453||32|
|R||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Junior Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||4||DNF||1:39.042||6|
|R||99||Tim ZIMMERMANN||Target Competition||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||4||DNF||1:39.060||22|
|R||20||Niko KANKKUNEN||LMS Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||2||DNF||No time||12|