Luca Engstler again claims victory behind the safety car

Luca Engstler again claims victory behind the safety car

Luca Engstler
Photo: TCR Media

Luca Engstler encored in the TCR Asia series by taking victory in race two at the Zhuhai International Circuit, leading home Liqui Moly Team Engstler team-mate Diego Moran, as the race once again ended behind the safety car.

The first lap saw reverse-grid pole-sitter Roland Hertner lead Pepe Oriola into the first corner, as Engstler fought his way up to third by the mid-point of the first tour.

German Hertner then went wide at the final corner of the lap after pressure from Oriola, allowing the Spaniard to assume the lead of the race on the first lap ahead of fellow Hyundai driver Engstler.

Oriola and Engstler fought side-by-side for much of the opening lap, but the reigning champion was able to get past just before the final corner, as the safety car was then called on lap three when Hertner was helped into the gravel, his Volkswagen becoming beeched.

Racing resumed on lap six, with light rain falling on the circuit, catching out Oriola, Martin Xie, Filipe De Souza and Dan Lloyd at Turn 11, with the latter being the only driver not to get stuck in the gravel.

With the Hyundai and Honda stuck in the gravel, the safety car was once again called at the end of lap six.

It took until lap 11 for racing to resume once more, but it only lasted for a lap as Adam Khalid, Douglas Khoo and Cherry Cheung made contact, pitching the first two hard into the barriers.

Khoo’s CUPRA appeared to make contact with Khalid’s Volkswagen, with Cheung’s Audi on the inside having nowhere to go. All three cars picked up suspension damage, and the race ended behind the safety car.

In the intervening lap, Moran had got past Teamwork Motorsport’s Alex Hui to take second, with Eurasia Motorsport’s Daniel Miranda following through to complete podium.

Hui was ultimately classified in fourth ahead of NewFaster’s Terry Huang in fifth, and Kim Jin Soo’s Hyundai in sixth.

However, Soo was later given a post-race 30-second penalty, dropping him to tenth. Kenneth Look was also penalised, dropping the Hong Kong driver from seventh to 11th.

Gao Hua Yang was sixth in the second Eurasia car, ahead of Dongfeng Honda’s Daniel Lloyd in seventh and Leo Racing’s Lin Li in eighth.

Engstler leaves Zhuhai at the top of the championship table with 85 points, ahead of Moran on 76 and Oriola on 50.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 1 Luca ENGSTLER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 31:25.978 1:46.836 10
2 23 Diego MORAN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 1.443 1:47.305 9
3 20 Daniel MIRANDA Eurasia Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 2.039 1:49.152 6
4 11 Alex HUI Ka Tai Teamwork Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 13 2.844 1:46.469 3
5 81 Terry HUANG Chu Han Liqui Moly Team NewFaster Audi RS3 LMS TCR 13 4.267 1:49.526 12
6 30 GAO Hua Yang Eurasia Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 7.294 1:49.102 16
7 77 Daniel LLOYD Dongfeng Honda MacPro Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 13 8.692 1:46.810 8
8 99 Lin LI Leo Racing Volkswagen Team Oettinger Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 9.533 1:49.722 14
9 33 Alex LIU Lic Ka Liqui Moly Team NewFaster CUPRA TCR 13 10.753 1:48.466 15
10 97 KIM Jin Soo Solite Indigo Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 34.789 1:48.899 13
11 88 Kenneth LOOK Liqui Moly Team NewFaster Audi RS3 LMS TCR 13 36.969 1:49.163 1
R 4 Adam KHALID Volkswagen Team Oettinger Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 10 DNF 1:48.856 4
R 65 Douglas KHOO Kok Hui Viper Niza Racing CUPRA TCR 10 DNF 1:48.756 17
R 10 Cherry CHEUNG Teamwork Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 DNF 1:49.203 18
R 74 Pepe ORIOLA Solite Indigo Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 5 DNF 1:47.350 5
R 55 Martin XIE Dongfeng Honda MacPro Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 5 DNF 1:46.212 11
R 26 Filipe Clemente DE SOUZA T.A Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 5 DNF 1:48.890 7
R 3 Roland HERTNER Volkswagen Team Oettinger Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 1 DNF 1:53.058 2