Max Hesse wins thrilling race and title as Antti Buri is penalised

Max Hesse wins thrilling race and title as Antti Buri is penalised

Max Hesse
Photo: ADAC / Gruppe C

Max Hesse was declared the victor in the TCR Germany season finale, after a thrilling race which saw a near-dead heat with Antti Buri, who crossed the finish line in first but was almost immediately then penalised and demoted to third.

Series newcomer Philipp Regensperger started the reverse-grid race from pole position, but was immediately passed by Marcel Fugel’s FK2 Honda Civic at the start, with the young German leading the first two laps ahead of René Münnich.

Max Hesse, from fifth on the grid, then made a bold move to take the lead at Turn 1 on lap three, going between Fugel and Münnich, only for Fugel to tag the Hyundai and re-take the lead.

Hesse did manage to get back into the lead one lap later at the final turn, as Fugel dropped into second, whilst the other title contenders of Harald Proczyk, Mike Halder and Antti Buri had made their way into third, fourth and sixth respectively.

Proczyk took second from Fugel on lap five, with Halder following through into third. By lap six Buri had made his way past Theo Coicaud for fourth, leaving the top four in the championship in the top four positions in the race.

The middle phase of the race saw the top four following within three seconds of each other, and the battle only came alive on the final lap, after a one-lap safety car phase to recover Sophie Hofmann’s CUPRA from the gravel.

Proczyk locked his brakes into Turn 1 on the last lap, allowing Buri to look up the inside for second, with slight contact between the duo sealing the pass.

Buri then also got past Hesse for the lead at the penultimate turn, with the duo running side-by-side to the chequered flag in a photo finish which initially saw Buri win by 0.011 seconds – which would have given the Finn the title on countback of wins, as the duo would have been tied on points.

But Buri was almost immediately handed a post-race one-second penalty for the contact with Proczyk, dropping him to third and giving Hesse the title in controversial circumstances.

Proczyk was thus classified in second, ahead of Buri, giving the Austrian second in the championship standings as well.

Halder was fourth, having gone wide on lap 14 to allow Buri through, ahead of Saturday’s race one winner Dominik Fugel in fifth.

Frenchman Coicaud was sixth in his Team Engstler Hyundai, ahead of the best CUPRA of TOPCAR Sport’s Julien Apothéloz in seventh.

Pascal Eberle made his way up to eighth towards the end of the race, whilst the top ten was completed by the Volkswagen of Mitchell Cheah and the Honda of Marcel Fugel.

18-year-old Hesse thus wins the title with 438 points, ahead of Proczyk (431), Buri (426) and Halder (399).

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 19 Max HESSE Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 21 LAPS 1:28.245 5
2 1 Harald PROCZYK HP Racing International Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 0.548 1:28.198 8
3 13 Antti BURI LMS Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 0.989 1:28.273 7
4 7 Mike HALDER Profi-Car Team Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 21 1.220 1:28.383 9
5 88 Dominik FUGEL Profi-Car Team Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 21 1.296 1:27.931 10
6 27 Theo COICAUD Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 2.243 1:28.988 4
7 22 Julien APOTHÉLOZ TOPCAR Sport CUPRA TCR 21 2.787 1:28.934 12
8 28 Pascal EBERLE Steibel Motorsport 2 CUPRA TCR 21 4.134 1:28.730 13
9 29 Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie VW Team Oettinger Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 4.778 1:29.273 14
10 55 Marcel FUGEL Profi-Car Team Halder Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR 21 5.382 1:29.645 2
11 25 Sami TAOUFIK Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 5.532 1:29.332 6
12 53 Michelle HALDER Profi-Car Team Halder Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 21 5.626 1:29.011 11
13 77 René MÜNNICH ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 21 5.914 1:28.900 3
14 8 René KIRCHER racing one Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 6.966 1:29.583 16
15 99 Maurits SANDBERG VW Team Oettinger Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 7.669 1:29.261 18
16 23 Sebastian STEIBEL Steibel Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 7.781 1:29.044 15
17 98 Jan SEYFFERT Lubner Motorsport LADA Vesta TCR 21 8.411 1:30.086 17
18 32 James BISCHOF Young Driver Challenge CUPRA TCR 21 10.715 1:30.276 19
R 48 Sophie HOFMANN TOPCAR Sport CUPRA TCR 16 DNF 1:32.977 20
R 20 Philipp REGENSPERGER Lubner Motorsport Opel Astra TCR 3 DNF 1:30.384 1