Brutal Fish Racing’s Dan Lloyd maintained his lead of the TCR Malaysia series in Sepang, as Luca Engstler and Lloyd himself claimed the wins in Saturday’s second event of the season.
Having qualified on pole on Friday, Luca Engstler was given a five-place grid penalty ahead of the first race for an engine change overnight.
That promoted Lloyd to pole position, and the Brutal Fish Racing driver led away from the line, holding off the CUPRA of Gilbert Ang as Engstler fought through the pack.
Engstler was up to third by Turn 3 as he threw his Hyundai down the inside of fellow i30 N racer Josh Files, who was making his series début this weekend for the Solite Indigo Racing team.
The leading trio then held formation for the next six laps, until Engstler passed Ang at the Turn 9 hairpin on lap seven to claim second. By this point, Lloyd had opened up a lead of over two seconds, but it wasn’t enough for the Honda driver and on lap ten Engstler was all over the Brit.
The German emerged with the lead after slight contact on the same lap, and the reigning champion went on to win and claim his second victory of the season, ahead of Lloyd and Ang.
Files was fourth on his first appearance in the series, ahead of the second Team Engstler car of Nicolas Gruber in fifth.
Malaysian driver Douglas Khoo was sixth, the Viper Niza Racing driver having also been handed a grid penalty ahead of the race for an engine change. Tommy Ku in the Prince Racing Honda was the last finisher in seventh, more than a minute off the lead.
Tommy Ku started the reverse-grid race from pole position, but the Hong Kong driver spun out at Turn 2 after contact from Files, giving the lead to the Brit.
Files led from Ang and Engstler by the half-way stage of the lap, the latter coming from the back of the seven-car grid, with Lloyd in fourth and Gruber in fifth.
Files managed to keep Engstler at bay for the first eight laps until the German went wide at Turn six, before going off the road into the gravel at Turn nine and bringing out the safety car due to his stricken car.
The race resumed after one lap under safety car conditions, with Files fending off Ang through the first few corners whilst fighting tyre issues.
Ang almost took the lead at Turn 4, but outbraked himself and Lloyd moved into second. Lloyd then moved around the outside of Files at turn 8, before claiming the lead at turn 9 up the inside of the hairpin.
Files then lost second to Ang on the run to the finish line, the pair being separated by just half a tenth.
Austrian Nicolas Gruber was fourth behind the podium finishers, with Douglas Khoo in fifth almost 20 seconds further back.
Tommy Ku completed the finishers, although the Hong Kong driver had also gone off on the final lap.
The final TCR Malaysia event of the season takes place on 28 – 28 February, again at Sepang.
Race one result
|1||1||Luca ENGSTLER||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||25:28.114||2:16.817||5|
|2||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||1.955||2:17.145||1|
|3||36||Gilbert ANG||Viper Niza Racing||CUPRA TCR||11||3.561||2:17.010||4|
|4||99||Josh FILES||Solite Indigo Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||7.681||2:17.578||3|
|5||2||Nicolas GRUBER||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||8.590||2:17.719||2|
|6||65||Douglas KHOO Kok Hui||Viper Niza Racing||CUPRA TCR||11||24.949||2:19.146||7|
|7||8||Tommy KU Siu Lam||Prince Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||11||1:12.691||2:23.510||6|
Race two result
|1||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||10||24:17.017||2:17.793||6|
|2||36||Gilbert ANG||Viper Niza Racing||CUPRA TCR||10||1.642||2:17.720||2|
|3||99||Josh FILES||Solite Indigo Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||1.690||2:17.518||4|
|4||2||Nicolas GRUBER||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||2.006||2:18.103||5|
|5||65||Douglas KHOO Kok Hui||Viper Niza Racing||CUPRA TCR||10||21.276||2:19.063||3|
|6||8||Tommy KU Siu Lam||Prince Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||10||21.582||2:24.022||1|
|R||1||Luca ENGSTLER||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||7||DNF||2:17.354||7|