Luca Engstler steals points lead with second victory of the weekend

Luca Engstler steals points lead with second victory of the weekend

Luca Engstler
Photo: ADAC / Gruppe C

Hyundai Team Engstler’s Luca Engstler came out on top in an exciting battle for the lead in the second ADAC TCR Germany race at the Sachsenring, claiming his second win of the season to move to the top of the championship table.

Starting from tenth on the grid, Engstler hauled himself into sixth on the opening lap of the race, which saw the action briefly curtailed for a two-lap safety car intervention when Benjamin Leuchter was knocked into the gravel by Dominik Fugel.

Crucially, title contender Mike Halder was also eliminated on the opening lap after contact from title rival Harald Proczyk, which damaged the suspension on Halder’s Honda and forced him to limp back to the pits.

The racing resumed on lap four and reverse-grid pole-sitter Niels Langeveld opened up an early advantage over the chasing CUPRA of Michelle Halder, with Proczyk settling into third.

But Engstler’s Hyundai was the real mover in the field, with the German getting past team-mate Theo Coicaud for fifth on the lap of the restart.

Engstler than passed Max Hesse’s Prosport Performance Audi for fourth on the following lap, before reeling in and catch Proczyk’s Opel, although the pass would prove more challenging on the Austrian.

Hesse, meanwhile held up a chasing line of cars including Coicaud and Justin Häußermann, before Coicaud got past the Audi at Turn 12 on lap nine.

Engstler finally got past Proczyk for third on lap 15, followed by Halder for second on the next lap. With Langeveld struggling for pace at the front the battle for the win soon became a four-car affair.

After several laps of trying at the first turn, Engstler’s break came on the penultimate lap when Dutchman Langeveld slid wide at the final corner, allowing Engstler into the lead.

Halder followed through into second and in the ensuing changes Steibel Motorsport’s Pascal Eberle sneaked past Proczyk into third, leaving the Austrian to take fourth.

Langeveld could only manage fifth after recovering from his slide, and that cost him dearly, with Engstler moving into an eight-point series lead over Proczyk and Langeveld slipping to third in the standings, 14 points adrift.

Coicaud took sixth, ahead of Häußermann, Hesse, Team Engstler’s Niko Kankkunen and LMS Racing’s Antti Buri, with the latter two Finns also enjoying a close battle for much of the race.

The TCR Germany season finale takes place at the Hockenheimring in two weeks’ time.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 8 Luca ENGSTLER Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 21 LAPS 1:27.914 10
2 53 Michelle HALDER Profi-Car Team Halder CUPRA TCR 21 1.231 1:28.000 2
3 28 Pascal EBERLE Steibel Motorsport 2 CUPRA TCR 21 2.002 1:28.296 7
4 22 Harald PROCZYK HP Racing International Opel Astra TCR 21 3.133 1:28.381 8
5 14 Niels LANGEVELD Racing One Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 4.367 1:28.278 1
6 27 Theo COICAUD Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 4.715 1:28.189 5
7 77 Justin HÄUßERMANN Team Engstler Germany Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 6.502 1:28.453 6
8 19 Max HESSE Prosport Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 10.167 1:28.997 4
9 47 Niko KANKKUNEN Team Engstler Europe Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 10.369 1:29.110 3
10 30 Antti BURI LMS Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 10.749 1:28.986 13
11 54 Simon REICHER YACO Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 13.473 1:29.105 21
12 3 Kai JORDAN Team Engstler Germany Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 15.885 1:29.320 23
13 39 Florian THOMA Team Engstler Europe Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 17.838 1:28.831 24
14 42 Lukas NIEDERTSCHEIDER Niedertscheider Motorsport Peugeot 308 TCR 21 21.431 1:29.105 20
15 29 Jussi KUUSINIEMI Positione Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 24.182 1:29.059 22
16 60 Loris PRATTES TOPCAR Sport CUPRA TCR 21 24.748 1:28.762 12
17 55 Marcel FUGEL Profi-Car Team Halder Honda Civic TCR 2018 21 26.103 1:29.643 29
18 17 Jasmin PREISIG Steibel Motorsport Opel Astra TCR 21 26.504 1:29.549 18
19 32 Francesco RUGA Young Driver Challenge CUPRA TCR 21 27.805 1:29.192 19
20 4 Jan SEYFFERT Lubner Motorsport Opel Astra TCR 21 32.427 1:29.701 26
21 99 Maurits SANDBERG Racing One Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 34.847 1:29.605 25
22 33 JC REYNOLDS TOPCAR Sport CUPRA TCR 21 35.522 1:29.938 27
23 23 Sebastian STEIBEL Steibel Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 38.631 1:30.160 17
24 11 Luke WANKMÜLLER HP Racing International Opel Astra TCR 20 + 1 LAP 1:28.514 11
R 88 Dominik FUGEL Team Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic TCR 2018 1 DNF N/A 14
R 7 Mike HALDER Team Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic TCR 2018 1 DNF N/A 9
R 10 Benjamin LEUCHTER Max Kruse Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 0 DNF N/A 15
R 5 Alex MORGAN Wolf-Power Racing Renault Mégane TCR 0 DNF N/A 16
NS 41 Steve KIRSCH Besagroup Racing Team Renault Mégane TCR DNS N/A 28