Luca Engstler wins safety car interrupted race one at the Sachsenring

Luca Engstler wins safety car interrupted race one at the Sachsenring

Luca Engstler
Photo: ADAC / Gruppe C

Hyundai Team Engstler’s Luca Engstler took his second consecutive victory in the first ADAC TCR Germany series race at the Sachsenring, which was interrupted three times by safety car interventions.

At the start Engstler got a clean getaway from pole position, whilst behind him his team-mate Theo Coicaud made a strong start to jump from sixth to fourth past series returnee Pascal Eberle.

Behind the duo, Justin Häußermann made a slow start from fifth and allowed Prosport Performance’s Max Hesse and team-mate Niko Kankkunen to draw alongside, However, three into one did not go and the trio made contact before the first turn, pitching Kankkunen sideways and out of the race, whilst Häußermann picked up front-right damage which would stymie his race.

Further around the opening lap Sebastian Steibel also went off into the gravel after contact with the Volkswagen of Kai Jordan, and a three-lap safety car period was required to clear up the stricken cars.

When the race resumed, Engstler once again made a good start to assume a comfortable lead over the chasing Honda of Mike Halder, but the race would only run for another four laps before newcomer Francesco Ruga slid off into the gravel at Turn 3 and beached his CUPRA, requiring another two-lap neutralisation of the race.

The race ran for a further five laps with the leading quintet in the same order, although a charging Antti Buri had made his way onto the tail of Coicaud for fifth.

Heading into the penultimate turn on lap 14 Buri made a move on the Hyundai driver ahead, but Coicaud retook the position at the final corner, and the scrapping allowed Eberle to close in on the battle.

Then, on lap 15, Coicaud ran wide at Turn 1 and allowed Buri to move to the inside, whilst Eberle attempted to pass the pair of them. Eberle’s CUPRA made contact with Buri’s Audi, pitching him across the front of the trio and forcing Coicaud into the gravel, with both Eberle and Coicaud ultimately becoming beached and bringing about the final safety car period, whilst Buri continued in fourth.

The race then came down to a two-lap sprint to the end, with Engstler holding on for a second win of the season which moves him to joint second in the championship table, three points shy of the top.

Halder took second and in the process moves closer to the top of the points table, whilst HP Racing’s Harald Proczyk completed the podium after a steady race to move into a narrow championship lead.

Buri was fourth, although the incident between the LMS Racing driver, Coicaud and Eberle is to be investigated after the race.

Michelle Halder finished in fifth as the leading CUPRA driver, ahead of the Audi of Niels Langeveld in sixth, with the Dutchman losing his points lead and slipping to joint second in the standings.

The second HP Racing Opel of Luke Wankmüller was seventh, ahead of Hesse’s Audi in eighth. Dominik Fugel’s Honda and Benjamin Leuchter’s Volkswagen completed the top ten.

Race two is scheduled to take place at 13:45 BST (14:45 CEST) on Sunday.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 8 Luca ENGSTLER Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 19 19 LAPS 1:26.749 1
2 7 Mike HALDER Team Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic TCR 2018 19 0.985 1:27.270 2
3 22 Harald PROCZYK HP Racing International Opel Astra TCR 19 2.996 1:27.750 3
4 30 Antti BURI LMS Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 19 3.502 1:27.898 13
5 53 Michelle HALDER Profi-Car Team Halder CUPRA TCR 19 5.232 1:28.691 9
6 14 Niels LANGEVELD Racing One Audi RS3 LMS TCR 19 6.562 1:28.707 10
7 11 Luke WANKMÜLLER HP Racing International Opel Astra TCR 19 7.342 1:28.796 11
8 19 Max HESSE Prosport Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 19 7.741 1:28.780 7
9 88 Dominik FUGEL Team Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic TCR 2018 19 8.414 1:28.859 14
10 10 Benjamin LEUCHTER Max Kruse Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 19 9.177 1:28.178 15
11 60 Loris PRATTES TOPCAR Sport CUPRA TCR 19 10.053 1:28.920 12
12 54 Simon REICHER YACO Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 19 10.071 1:28.782 21
13 42 Lukas NIEDERTSCHEIDER Niedertscheider Motorsport Peugeot 308 TCR 19 10.505 1:29.189 20
14 39 Florian THOMA Team Engstler Europe Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 19 11.136 1:28.809 24
15 55 Marcel FUGEL Profi-Car Team Halder Honda Civic TCR 2018 19 11.875 1:29.250 19
16 5 Alex MORGAN Wolf-Power Racing Renault Mégane TCR 19 12.190 1:28.962 29
17 77 Justin HÄUßERMANN Team Engstler Germany Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 19 13.300 1:28.945 5
18 4 Jan SEYFFERT Lubner Motorsport Opel Astra TCR 19 13.659 1:29.093 26
19 99 Maurits SANDBERG Racing One Audi RS3 LMS TCR 19 14.946 1:29.652 25
20 33 JC REYNOLDS TOPCAR Sport CUPRA TCR 19 16.275 1:29.621 27
21 17 Jasmin PREISIG Steibel Motorsport Opel Astra TCR 19 24.778 1:28.911 17
22 23 Sebastian STEIBEL Steibel Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 18 + 1 LAP 1:29.597 16
R 27 Theo COICAUD Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 DNF 1:28.158 6
R 28 Pascal EBERLE Steibel Motorsport 2 CUPRA TCR 14 DNF 1:28.013 4
R 32 Francesco RUGA Young Driver Challenge CUPRA TCR 7 DNF 1:29.899 18
R 41 Steve KIRSCH Besagroup Racing Team Renault Mégane TCR 3 DNF 1:59.491 28
R 47 Niko KANKKUNEN Team Engstler Europe Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 1 DNF N/A 8
R 29 Jussi KUUSINIEMI Positione Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 0 DNF N/A 22
R 3 Kai JORDAN Team Engstler Germany Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 0 DNF N/A 23
TCR Germany points deficit graphic
Graphic: TouringCars.Net