Nicolas Gruber takes first TCR Germany win in season-opening race

Nicolas Gruber takes first TCR Germany win in season-opening race

Nicolas Gruber, Hyundai Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N TCR
Photo: ADAC / Gruppe C

Nicolas Gruber won on his début in the ADAC TCR Germany series at the Lausitzring, with the Hyundai driver getting the jump on pole-sitter and team-mate Antti Buri at the start.

Buri had put his Hyundai Team Engstler i30 N on pole position on Saturday, but when the lights went out for race one it was young Austrian Gruber who jumped into the lead, taking the inside line into Turn 1.

Buri held second for much of the race, but was ultimately beaten by Mike Halder, who made a move on the Finn at Turn 6 on lap 13.

Buri didn’t have an answer to the Honda driver’s pace thereafter, and Halder finished just over a second behind Gruber as he closed the gap in the final laps.

2019 runner-up Harald Proczyk took fourth in his HP Racing Hyundai, getting past team-mate Jan Seyffert on lap 13, with the latter having slipped back from his front-row starting position in the race.

Honda’s Dominik Fugel was sixth, ahead of the Volkswagen of René Kircher in seventh and the Hyundai of Guido Naumann in eighth.

Positione Motorsport’s Harri Salminen and Honda’s Marcel Fugel completed the top ten, the latter despite late-race pressure from team-mate Michelle Halder in the closing laps.

Lithuanian newcomer Dziugas Tovilavicius completed the finished runners. Albert Legutko, in the older-spec FK Honda Civic, was the race’s only retirement when his front-right suspension broke whilst he was battling for tenth on lap seven.

Legutko’s car was sent straight into the gravel at Turn 8, prompting a five-lap safety car period as his car was recovered from the gravel, the time taken extended due to inefficient recovery work.

Race two is scheduled to begin at 14:40 CEST (13:40 BST).

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 97 Nicolas GRUBER Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 19 31:55.580 1:29.986 3
2 7 Mike HALDER Profi Car Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 19 1.028 1:30.141 6
3 13 Antti BURI Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 19 2.541 1:30.054 1
4 2 Harald PROCZYK HP Racing International Hyundai i30 N TCR 19 5.335 1:30.741 4
5 98 Jan SEYFFERT HP Racing International Hyundai i30 N TCR 19 6.354 1:30.545 2
6 88 Dominik FUGEL Profi Car Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 19 7.594 1:30.650 5
7 8 René KIRCHER Volkswagen Team Oettinger Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 19 9.769 1:30.776 7
8 100 Guido NAUMANN Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 19 10.512 1:31.495 9
9 51 Harri SALMINEN Positione Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 19 12.734 1:31.330 10
10 55 Marcel FUGEL Profi Car Team Halder Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 19 14.486 1:31.545 8
11 53 Michelle HALDER Profi Car Team Halder Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 19 14.835 1:31.633 13
12 92 Dziugas TOVILAVICIUS SKUBA RACING TEAM Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 19 19.138 1:32.168 12
R 17 Albert LEGUTKO Albert Legutko Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK2 TCR 6 DNF 1:31.648 11