Dominik Fugel recorded his first TCR Germany win of the season at the Sachsenring, holding off Antti Buri and Mike Halder, as the title race went to the wire, with just three points separating the top three drivers.
Fugel scored a lights-to-flag win to take his first victory of the year, holding off a race-long challenge from LMS Racing’s title contender Antti Buri in second.
Buri had made a strong start from the second row of the grid to jump into second at the first corner on the opening lap, whilst Mike Halder slipped back to third.
The top three would remain unchanged thereafter, with Halder eventually slipping to over six seconds behind the lead battle, despite a safety car intervention after the first third of the race closing the field up.
Reigning champion Harald Proczyk was the leading Hyundai driver in fourth, keeping his title defence alive, ahead of the third Profi-Car Honda of Michelle Halder in fifth.
Michelle had earlier followed Theo Coicaud past his Team Engstler team-mate Max Hesse near the end of the race, initially into sixth, which became fifth when Coicaud dropped back on the final lap.
Pascal Eberle also got past Hesse and took sixth, with fellow CUPRA driver Julien Apothéloz in seventh after making late progress past Hesse.
Hesse was just eighth at the flag, meaning that whilst he still leads the standings he holds just three points over Proczyk and four over Buri heading into Sunday’s finale.
Coicaud and Moroccan rookie Sami Taoufik completed the top ten, the latter staging an impressive comeback drive after going off at the first corner on the opening lap and dropping to the back of the field.
Sebastian Steibel was 11th after a spirited drive, ending the race as the leading Volkswagen driver after fighting with Marcel Fugel in the latter laps.
The one-lap safety car intervention came on lap eight when Malaysian racer Mitchell Cheah went wide at Turn 7, got dirt on his tyres, and then went off at Turn 8, spinning into the barriers and ending up beached in the gravel.
Jan Seyffert had already retired his LADA after two laps, whilst René Münnich, returning to the series for the first time since 2016, retired in the pits after 17 laps.
Race two is scheduled to get underway at 11:00 CEST (10:00 BST) on Sunday,
|1||88||Dominik FUGEL||Profi-Car Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||21||21 LAPS||1:27.667||1|
|2||13||Antti BURI||LMS Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||21||0.591||1:27.741||4|
|3||7||Mike HALDER||Profi-Car Team Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||21||6.341||1:27.685||2|
|4||1||Harald PROCZYK||HP Racing International||Hyundai i30 N TCR||21||14.323||1:28.078||3|
|5||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi-Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||21||17.682||1:28.479||9|
|6||28||Pascal EBERLE||Steibel Motorsport 2||CUPRA TCR||21||19.163||1:28.168||12|
|7||22||Julien APOTHÉLOZ||TOPCAR Sport||CUPRA TCR||21||21.439||1:28.579||11|
|8||19||Max HESSE||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||21||27.580||1:28.171||5|
|9||27||Theo COICAUD||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||21||27.828||1:28.704||6|
|10||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||21||32.311||1:29.108||10|
|11||23||Sebastian STEIBEL||Steibel Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||21||32.785||1:29.168||18|
|12||99||Maurits SANDBERG||VW Team Oettinger||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||21||36.848||1:29.802||16|
|13||55||Marcel FUGEL||Profi-Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR||21||37.546||1:29.320||8|
|14||8||René KIRCHER||racing one||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||21||39.076||1:28.898||15|
|15||32||James BISCHOF||Young Driver Challenge||CUPRA TCR||21||51.822||1:30.533||17|
|16||20||Philipp REGENSPERGER||Lubner Motorsport||Opel Astra TCR||21||1:59.567||1:29.692||13|
|17||48||Sophie HOFMANN||TOPCAR Sport||CUPRA TCR||20||+ 1 LAP||1:34.265||19|
|R||77||René MÜNNICH||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||17||DNF||1:28.742||7|
|R||29||Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie||VW Team Oettinger||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||7||DNF||1:28.294||14|
|R||98||Jan SEYFFERT||Lubner Motorsport||LADA Vesta TCR||2||DNF||N/A||20|