Luca Engstler claims victory in race two to take points lead

Luca Engstler claims victory in race two to take points lead

Luca Engstler
Photo: TCR Asia

Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Luca Engstler took victory in a wet second TCR Asia – TCR Korea race at the Korea International Circuit, ahead of race one winner Kantadhee Kusiri and Mitchell Cheah.

Kang DongWoo had been set to start the race from the reverse-grid pole position in his Hyundai, but began from the pitlane instead, leaving Alex Liu Lic Ka with a clear run down to the first corner.

Lo Sze Ho had also been set to start from the front row, but the Hong Kong driver did not take the start of the race due to the technical issues he had earlier faced in race one.

The rain intensified during the formation lap, and at the start Liu led from Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Mitchell Cheah. However, the duo made contact halfway round the lap as Elegant Racing’s Liu sought to retake the lead, and the SEAT driver spun, allowing Cheah’s Volkswagen to take the lead.

Luca Engstler made his way into second past Chariya Nuya later on in the first lap, and took the lead from his team-mate on lap four in the treacherous conditions.

The safety car had to be called out on lap five after an incident between Liu and the TCR Korea Hyundai of Cho Hoon Hyun left Liu’s car stranded. Cho was able to continue, but Liu was out of the race.

A one-lap safety car period was all that was required and on lap six the racing resumed, with Cheah immediately retaking the lead from Engstler, whilst race one winner Kantadhee Kusiri threatened the leading duo in third.

However, Cheah’s retaken lead was short-lived and Engstler made a brave move around the outside at Turn 10 to move back into a lead which he would not thereafter lose.

Cheah lost second to Kusiri on lap eight, with the Thai driver holding the position to the flag, despite finishing just three tenths behind Engstler, unable to find a way past in the drying conditions towards the end of the race.

Cheah completed the podium in third and minimised the loss of points to his team-mate and title rival in the process.

The third Liqui Moly Team Engstler car of Diego Moran took fourth, ahead of TCR Korea winner Charlie Kang in fifth, who comfortably brought his Indigo Racing Hyundai home in the class winning position.

Thai guest drivers Chariya Nuya and Nattachak Hanjitkasem were sixth and seventh respectively in their Honda Civics, ahead of a quartet of TCR Korea entrants in a rather strung out field towards the end of the race.

Victory for Engstler sees him leave Korea with an 11-point advantage over Cheah heading to the season finale.

The 2018 TCR Asia finale takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit on the 6-7 October.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 8 Luca ENGSTLER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 42:51.673 2:46.611 9
2 1 Kantadhee KUSIRI Viper Niza Racing SEAT León TCR 14 0.370 2:47.473 10
3 29 Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 20.670 2:47.686 8
4 32 Diego MORAN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 20.823 2:48.050 11
5 87 Charlie KANG Byung Hui Indigo Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 39.194 2:51.852 6
6 15 Chariya NUYA Billionaire Boy Racing (BBR) Honda Civic TCR 2017 14 50.559 2:53.379 7
7 66 Nattachak HANJITKASEM TBN MK ihear Racing Team Honda Civic TCR 2017 14 56.622 2:53.053 14
8 101 KIM Byoung Hyun DreamRacer Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 14 1:12.588 2:55.699 13
9 20 Andrew KIM BrandNew Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 1:19.064 2:54.260 4
10 97 CHO Hoon Hyun Indigo Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 1:57.974 2:52.628 12
11 16 LEE Do Hyeon E-Rain Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 2:33.323 2:58.513 16
12 65 Douglas KHOO Kok Hui Viper Niza Racing SEAT León TCR SEQ V3 14 2:40.117 3:02.092 15
13 11 Alex HUI Ka Tai Teamwork BrandNew Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 + 1 LAP 2:49.614 18
14 103 KANG DongWoo KMSA Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 + 1 LAP 2:55.343 1
R 33 Kelvin WONG Kiang Kuan Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 8 DNF 2:51.991 5
R 3 Alex LIU Lic Ka Elegant Racing Team SEAT León TCR SEQ V2 2 DNF 2:56.101 3
NS 28 LO Sze Ho Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2016 DNS N/A 2
NS 5 Clement TONG Yat Him Maximum Racing Honda Civic TCR 2017 DNS N/A 17