Antti Buri took his first win of the TCR Germany season in race two at Oschersleben, the Finnish driver holding off race one winner Mike Halder in a late-race battle.
After overnight rain had reduced the grip of the track surface, drivers would have to focus on maintaining tyre life throughout the half an hour race.
From the ‘clean’ side of the grid, LMS Racing’s Buri made a lightning start and was leading the pack well before the first corner.
Third place on the grid Michelle Halder was slow away from the line, the Profi-car Team Halder driver dropping down the order immediately.
Yesterdays race winner Michael Halder moved from eighth up to third in the opening laps before the only race intervention.
Volkswagen Team Oettinger’s Maurits Sandberg spun into the gravel on the exit of the Schikane, bringing out the safety car only five minutes in which put an end to Buri increasing his lead over Hyundai Team Engstler driver Théo Coicaud.
A well executed restart allowed the LMS Racing driver to reestablish his lead, as Halder, Hesse and reigning champion Harald Proczyk bunched up behind Coicaud.
With half the race left, Halder managed to get alongside Coicaud exiting the Hasseröder turn and passed on the inside with two wheels on the grass for second place.
The question then became could Halder catch Buri who held a lead over 2.5 seconds.
HP Racing International driver Proczyk then made a late lunge into the final corner, passing Hesse who ran wide.
Further down the grid Profi-car Team Honda ADAC Saschen’s Dominik Fugel and Pyro Motorsport’s Bradley Burns battled hard to pass Volkswagen Team Oettinger’s Mitchell Cheah in an effort to bridge the six second gap to the top five.
Into the final ten minutes of the race and Halder had reduced the gap to Buri, and was now only a second back, as Proczyk desperately attempted to pass Coicaud for the final podium place.
The battle then reached boiling point as Proczyk appeared to touch with the rear of Coicaud, into the final sector.
The contact pushed Coicaud wide and the Hyundai Team Engstler driver rejoined behind Hesse. The stewards investigating the incident in the final minutes and of the race, with no decision being made till after the checkered flag.
With five minutes to go Buri and Halder were locked together in a battle for the lead, the LMS Racing driver extracting all possible performance from his Audi RS3 LMS TCR car.
Fugel then pulled aside on the main straight with two minutes to go, a right rear puncture bringing his race to an end.
Buri, tasked with not giving Halder a chance for a last lap lunge, held on to take his first win in 2019 and move level with Proczyk and Hesse in the championship.
With Mike Halder’s championship lead reduced to ten points, and three drivers all tied for second, the fight for the TCR Germany title is heating up.
|1||13||Antti BURI||LMS Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||20||20 LAPS||1:33.168||3|
|2||7||Mike HALDER||Profi-Car Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||20||0.741||1:32.900||8|
|3||1||Harald PROCZYK||HP Racing International||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||12.958||1:32.839||10|
|4||19||Max HESSE||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||16.566||1:33.332||9|
|5||6||Bradley BURNS||Team Pyro Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||20||17.208||1:33.435||12|
|6||27||Theo COICAUD||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||21.336||1:33.576||6|
|7||42||Lukas NIEDERTSCHEIDER||HP Racing International||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||30.913||1:34.228||4|
|8||8||René KIRCHER||racing one||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||20||31.320||1:34.415||13|
|9||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi-Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||20||32.670||1:34.416||2|
|10||29||Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie||VW Team Oettinger||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||20||32.718||1:34.498||5|
|11||100||Guido NAUMANN||Hyundai Team Engstler 2||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||36.049||1:34.584||1|
|12||98||Jan SEYFFERT||Lubner Motorsport||Opel Astra TCR||20||39.057||1:34.574||15|
|13||41||Steve KIRSCH||IMC Motorsport||Opel Astra TCR||20||40.628||1:34.651||11|
|14||23||Sebastian STEIBEL||Steibel Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||20||44.710||1:34.914||17|
|15||33||Joshua Corren REYNOLDS||TOPCAR Sport||CUPRA TCR||19||+ 1 LAP||1:34.695||18|
|16||22||Julien APOTHÉLOZ||TOPCAR Sport||CUPRA TCR||18||+ 2 LAPS||1:34.540||14|
|17||88||Dominik FUGEL||Profi-Car Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||17||+ 3 LAPS||1:33.590||7|
|R||99||Maurits SANDBERG||VW Team Oettinger||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||3||DNF||1:35.933||16|