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.
|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|