Harald Proczyk has been crowned the 2018 ADAC TCR Germany Champion after second behind Mike Halder’s Honda proved enough in a dramatic Hockenheim finale.
Niels Langeveld’s Audi made the best start, cutting through the front row and claiming the race lead on the outside into the sharp right-hand Ravenol Kurve.
The Dutch racer held the advantage for the vast majority of a contest truncated by three safety car periods before being forced out in front of the Mercedes Tribune with a minute to go dropped him back to third.
He was able to recover past newly-crowned Champion Proczyk through the stadium section, but left with only a single lap to put pressure on Halder, the margin at the chequered flag just 0.576 seconds.
Proczyk’s drive to third from the fifth row of the grid was arguably worthy of winning any title, as was main title rival Luca Engstler’s similar effort to move from 19th up to fourth despite some robust defending.
The Hyundai i30 N TCR took a beating on several occasions and did well to survive, though Engstler will be frustrated to miss out on a maiden TCR title by a mere 7 points.
Team-mate Theo Coicaud will also cut a disappointed figure in the paddock after being pitched backwards into the tyre wall at Ravenol Kurve, his race ended with a broken suspension and necessitating the first stoppage.
The second was more dramatic, with Pascal Eberle’s CUPRA pitched into a barrel roll at Turn 10 after colliding simultaneously with Anti Buri’s Audi ahead and the Volkswagen Golf of Jussi Kuusiniemi.
Maurits Sandberg and J.C Reynolds completed the trio of stoppages with another collision on the run down to Turn 12, leaving just five minutes on the clock at the restart.
That proved enough time for the aforementioned lead change, along with an eventual retirement for Buri and Leuchter, but beyond that the order remained stable to the end.
Luke Wankmuller claimed fifth ahead of Niko Kankkunen and pole-sitter Olivier Holdener’s CUPRA, with Max Hesse, Julien Apotheloz and Michelle Holder rounding out the top ten.
|1||7||Mike HALDER||Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic TCR 2018||15||33:19.027||1:49.705||8|
|2||14||Niels LANGEVELD||Racing One||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||15||0.576||1:49.757||3|
|3||22||Harald PROCZYK||HP Racing International||Opel Astra TCR||15||1.289||1:50.016||9|
|4||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||15||2.618||1:50.100||19|
|5||11||Luke WANKMÜLLER||HP Racing International||Opel Astra TCR||15||3.406||1:50.597||4|
|6||47||Niko KANKKUNEN||Team Engstler Europe||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||3.900||1:50.593||11|
|7||6||Oliver HOLDENER||Wolf-Power Racing||CUPRA TCR||15||10.123||1:51.365||1|
|8||19||Max HESSE||Prosport Performance||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||15||10.465||1:51.558||7|
|9||34||Julien APOTHÉLOZ||Young Driver Challenge||CUPRA TCR||15||11.149||1:51.717||21|
|10||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi-Car Team Halder||CUPRA TCR||15||11.450||1:51.118||20|
|11||60||Loris PRATTES||TOPCAR Sport||CUPRA TCR||15||11.507||1:51.463||18|
|12||55||Marcel FUGEL||Profi-Car Team Halder||Honda Civic TCR 2018||15||13.376||1:51.749||27|
|13||3||Kai JORDAN||Team Engstler Germany||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||13.943||1:51.323||17|
|14||23||Sebastian STEIBEL||Steibel Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||14.043||1:51.566||22|
|15||54||Simon REICHER||YACO Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||15||14.100||1:52.159||14|
|16||77||Justin HÄUßERMANN||Team Engstler Germany||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||13||+ 2 LAPS||1:51.488||13|
|17||30||Antti BURI||LMS Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||+ 3 LAPS||1:50.254||16|
|18||88||Dominik FUGEL||Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic TCR 2018||12||+ 3 LAPS||1:53.239||15|
|R||10||Benjamin LEUCHTER||Max Kruse Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||DNF||1:52.739||6|
|R||9||Daniel DAVIDOVAC||HP Racing International 2||Opel Astra TCR||7||DNF||2:38.637||23|
|R||33||JC REYNOLDS||TOPCAR Sport||CUPRA TCR||6||DNF||2:37.628||24|
|R||99||Maurits SANDBERG||Racing One||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||6||DNF||2:38.453||25|
|R||39||Florian THOMA||Team Engstler Europe||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||4||DNF||2:40.212||26|
|R||29||Jussi KUUSINIEMI||Positione Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||3||DNF||2:43.059||2|
|R||28||Pascal EBERLE||Steibel Motorsport 2||CUPRA TCR||3||DNF||2:41.756||5|
|R||42||Lukas NIEDERTSCHEIDER||Niedertscheider Motorsport||Peugeot 308 TCR||2||DNF||N/A||10|
|R||27||Theo COICAUD||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||1||DNF||N/A||12|
|NS||17||Jasmin PREISIG||Steibel Motorsport||Opel Astra TCR||–||DNS||N/A||28|