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.
|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|