Reigning TCR Germany champion Harald Proczyk claimed victory in the opening race at the Red Bull Ring, brining his HP Racing Hyundai home ahead of Volkswagen Team Oettinger’s Mitchell Cheah and LMS Racing’s Antti Buri.
Proczyk made a superb start from third on the grid to lead even before the first corner, as pole-sitter Sebastian Steibel got off to a poor start and dropped to fifth in his Golf GTi.
At the first corner guest driver Gabriele Tarquini was hit by fellow Hyundai driver Theo Coicaud, breaking the Italian’s front-right suspension and leaving his car stranded on the exit of the turn, prompting a two-lap safety car period.
Racing resumed on lap four and initially Proczyk lead from Julien Apothéloz, who had started from the front row in his TOPCAR Sport CUPRA. However Apothéloz lost the position on lap ten when Cheah got past with some contact at the last corner, with Buri following through.
The second half of the race then saw a fierce battle for second between young Malaysian Cheah and Finnish racer Buri, with the duo making light contact numerous times.
Ultimately Cheah prevailed to claim his best-ever result in TCR Germany, ahead of Buri in third, despite last-lap contact between the duo.
Apothéloz remained close to the podium battle in the last laps, but was unable to take advantage of the squabbling ahead of him, leaving the Swiss driver to finish in fourth.
Coicaud took fifth, although the Frenchman is under investigation for the contact with Tarquini at the start of the race.
Pole-sitter Steibel crossed the finish line in sixth, also losing out to Max Hesse halfway through the race, before he gained the place back when Hesse had to serve a drive-through penalty for overtaking under the safety car, along with Jan Seyffert, Bradley Burns and Dominik Fugel.
Lukas Niedertscheider was seventh in the second of the HP Racing Hyundais, ahead of the best Honda of Michelle Halder in eighth.
Racing One’s René Kircher and VW Team Oettinger’s Maurits Sandberg completed the top ten in their Audi and Volkswagens respectively.
After his penalty, Hesse was classified in 11th.
Pyro Motorsport’s Burns was the only other retirement after Tarquini, with the Brit making contact with Niedertscheider at the Turn 2 hairpin and pitching his Honda into the air after the wheel-to-wheel contact.
Erstwhile points leader Mike Halder also had a race to forget, ending up last on the road after going off through the gravel on lap four.
Race two is scheduled to get underway at 14:40 CEST (13:40 BST) on Sunday.
|1||1||Harald PROCZYK||HP Racing International||Hyundai i30 N TCR||19||19 LAPS||1:38.485||3|
|2||29||Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie||VW Team Oettinger||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||19||1.756||1:38.343||4|
|3||13||Antti BURI||LMS Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||19||2.078||1:38.252||7|
|4||22||Julien APOTHÉLOZ||TOPCAR Sport||CUPRA TCR||19||2.531||1:38.364||2|
|5||27||Theo COICAUD||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||19||13.715||1:39.238||6|
|6||23||Sebastian STEIBEL||Steibel Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||19||15.657||1:39.217||1|
|7||42||Lukas NIEDERTSCHEIDER||HP Racing International||Hyundai i30 N TCR||19||15.982||1:39.177||11|
|8||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi-Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||19||25.058||1:39.898||9|
|9||8||René KIRCHER||racing one||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||19||25.432||1:39.507||10|
|10||99||Maurits SANDBERG||VW Team Oettinger||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||19||27.385||1:39.651||16|
|11||19||Max HESSE||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||19||36.999||1:39.172||15|
|12||33||Joshua Corren REYNOLDS||TOPCAR Sport||CUPRA TCR||19||48.780||1:40.834||17|
|13||98||Jan SEYFFERT||Lubner Motorsport||Opel Astra TCR||19||53.785||1:40.030||13|
|14||88||Dominik FUGEL||Profi-Car Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||19||1:10.233||1:39.144||8|
|15||7||Mike HALDER||Profi-Car Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||19||1:37.644||1:38.611||14|
|R||6||Bradley BURNS||Team Pyro Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||4||DNF||2:14.349||12|
|R||102||Gabriele TARQUINI||Hyundai Team Engstler 2||Hyundai i30 N TCR||0||DNF||N/A||5|