Luca Engstler storms to pole position in Bangsaen qualifying

Luca Engstler storms to pole position in Bangsaen qualifying

Luca Engstler
Photo: TCR Asia

Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Luca Engstler stormed to pole position in qualifying for the TCR Asia series on the Bangsaen street circuit in Thailand, beating Maximum Racing’s Lo Sze Ho by just over two seconds.

Engstler’s pole marks his third in a row from the first three TCR Asia events in 2018 and continues a dominant start to the season by the young German racer.

Engstler had earlier topped the first Q1 session by 1.7 seconds from Thai racer Nattanid Leewattanavaragul in her Morin Racing SEAT, before going seven tenths faster in his Q2 lap with a time of 1 minute 42.727 seconds.

Hong Kong racer Lo joins Engstler on the front row of the grid, whilst Leewattanavaragul ended up third fastest and the best of the TCR Thailand drivers  who are once again sharing the bill with the TCR Asia regulars this weekend.

Fourth fastest was Vattana Motorsport’s Patarapol Vongprai in his Honda Civic TCR, with a time of 1:45.151 putting him 2.4 seconds off the pace.

The second Engstler Motorsport Volkswagen Golf of Ecuadorian Diego Moran was fifth, ahead of TCR Thailand’s Jakraphan Davee in his Alphafactory Racing SEAT.

Engstler Motorsport’s third car of Mitchell Cheah was 3.3 seconds slower than his team mate in seventh, although the Malaysian title contender will start ahead of his team mates for the reverse grid second race on Sunday.

Elegant Racing duo Alex Liu Kic Ka and Kelvin Wing were eighth and ninth respectively in their SEATs, whilst Maximum Racing’s Ivan Szeto completed the top ten, despite crashing his Honda at the end of Q2.

In all only three TCR Thailand drivers made it into the top ten, with TBN MK ihere Racing Team’s Nattachak Hanjitkasem and BBR Racing’s Chariya Nuya missing the top ten and ending up in 11th and 12th for both races respectively.

Viper Niza Racing’s Douglas Khoo crashed out in Q1 and failed to progress any further in the qualifying session. The Malaysian driver will be 13th on the grid for both races.

Race one gets underway at 12:40 local time (06:40 BST,  07:40 CEST) on Saturday.

Q2 results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 8 Luca ENGSTLER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 4 1:42.727 0.000
2 28 LO Sze Ho Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2016 5 1:44.741 2.014
3 96 Nattanid LEEWATTANAVARAGUL Morin Racing Team by Sunoco SEAT León TCR DSG V3 4 1:44.996 2.269
4 59 Pattarapol VONGPRAI Vattana Motorsport Honda Civic TCR 2017 6 1:45.151 2.424
5 32 Diego MORAN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 4 1:45.595 2.868
6 133 Jakraphan DAVEE Alphafactory Racing Team by Pulzar SEAT León TCR DSG V3 6 1:45.838 3.111
7 29 Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 5 1:46.028 3.301
8 3 Alex LIU Lic Ka Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 5 1:46.074 3.347
9 33 Kelvin WONG Kiang Kuan Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 5 1:46.966 4.239
10 22 Ivan SZETO Wing Shun Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2016 4 1:47.127 4.400
11 66 Nattachak HANJITKASEM TBN MK ihear Racing Team Honda Civic TCR 2017 4 1:49.120 6.393
12 15 Chariya NUYA Billionaire Boy Racing (BBR) Honda Civic TCR 2017 1 1:52.137 9.410

Q1 results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 8 Luca ENGSTLER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 5 1:43.443 0.000
2 96 Nattanid LEEWATTANAVARAGUL Morin Racing Team by Sunoco SEAT León TCR DSG V3 6 1:45.216 1.773
3 15 Chariya NUYA Billionaire Boy Racing (BBR) Honda Civic TCR 2017 6 1:45.224 1.781
4 59 Pattarapol VONGPRAI Vattana Motorsport Honda Civic TCR 2017 7 1:45.507 2.064
5 29 Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 5 1:45.613 2.170
6 133 Jakraphan DAVEE Alphafactory Racing Team by Pulzar SEAT León TCR DSG V3 9 1:45.885 2.442
7 28 LO Sze Ho Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2016 5 1:45.929 2.486
8 32 Diego MORAN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 1:46.029 2.586
9 33 Kelvin WONG Kiang Kuan Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 10 1:46.816 3.373
10 3 Alex LIU Lic Ka Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 6 1:47.177 3.734
11 22 Ivan SZETO Wing Shun Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2016 9 1:47.576 4.133
12 66 Nattachak HANJITKASEM TBN MK ihear Racing Team Honda Civic TCR 2017 7 1:48.232 4.789
13 65 Douglas KHOO Kok Hui Viper Niza Racing SEAT León TCR SEQ V3 6 1:48.816 5.373