Luca Engstler edges closer to TCR Malaysia title after double win

Luca Engstler edges closer to TCR Malaysia title after double win

Luca Engstler
Photo: TCR Malaysia

Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Luca Engstler edged closer towards the inaugural TCR Malaysia title after the German took victory in the third and fourth events in Sepang, maintaining his unbeaten run in the series.

Race one

Having secured qualifying earlier on Saturday, Engstler started the first race from pole position with KCMG’s Paul Ip alongside in his Honda Civic Type-R.

Further back, Michael Soong stalled his Team Engstler Hyundai and was pushed back to the pits, although the Hong Kong driver would play no further part in the race.

The uncertain conditions meant most of the field changed from wets to slicks before the start of the race. During the first lap, Kai Jordan overtook Ip for second, whilst further back the Brutal Fish Racing Volkswagen of Martin Ryba elevated himself to fourth, ahead of Brendan Anthony in fifth.

Then, on lap four, the wet weather struck. Douglas Khoo, Ahmed Noor Azlee and Michael Choi all pitted for wet weather tyres and the safety car was deployed, but due to the intensity of the rain the race was called after seven laps and half points were awarded.

That gave Engstler a third straight win ahead of Jordan and Ip.

Race two

Under the Sepang International Circuit’s floodlights, race two got underway on a still-wet circuit. The reverse-grid would mean Engstler had to start from eighth, whilst the front row went to Ryba and Choi.

It didn’t take Engstler long to scythe through to the front and the young German was in the lead by the end of the first lap, with Jordan following him through into second.

The race stayed that way thereafter, and Engstler took his fourth win of the year by a mammoth 31 seconds from Jordan, whilst Brendan Anthony completed the podium to make it a Team Engstler 1-2-3.

The double wins for Engstler give him a huge championship advantage with just one meeting to go, as he ends the event with 96 points ahead of second-placed Jordan on 55 points. Third overall is Ryba on 35, ahead of Huff, who didn’t take part in the event, on 33.

Race one result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 8 Luca ENGSTLER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 7 20:12.786 2:25.178 1
2 3 Kai JORDAN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 7 6.429 2:25.652 3
3 51 Paul IP Kung Ching KCMG Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 7 19.550 2:29.234 2
4 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 7 46.110 2:34.404 8
5 22 Brendan Paul ANTHONY Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 7 48.475 2:29.900 10
6 2 Kenneth LAU Chi Yung Prince Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 7 49.181 2:33.994 4
7 9 Ahmad Akid NOOR AZLEE Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 7 1:04.935 2:32.910 9
8 65 Douglas KHOO Kok Hui Viper Niza Racing CUPRA TCR 6 + 1 LAP 2:38.494 6
9 7 Michael CHOI Koon Ming Prince Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 6 + 1 LAP 2:33.740 7
R 26 Michael John SOONG Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 0 DNF N/A 5

Race two result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 8 Luca ENGSTLER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 28:49.735 2:34.843 8
2 3 Kai JORDAN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 31.433 2:38.452 6
3 22 Brendan Paul ANTHONY Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 39.483 2:38.713 10
4 65 Douglas KHOO Kok Hui Viper Niza Racing CUPRA TCR 11 47.810 2:39.900 3
5 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 48.678 2:29.973 1
6 7 Michael CHOI Koon Ming Prince Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 11 51.595 2:39.527 2
7 2 Kenneth LAU Chi Yung Prince Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 11 1:24.181 2:39.551 5
R 9 Ahmad Akid NOOR AZLEE Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 10 DNF 2:39.735 9
R 51 Paul IP Kung Ching KCMG Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 5 DNF 2:40.696 7
NS 26 Michael John SOONG Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR DNS N/A 4