Luca Engstler wins TCR Germany season opener

Luca Engstler claimed victory in the first round of the 2021 ADAC TCR Germany series at Oschersleben, after the Hyundai driver got the jump on team-mate Martin Andersen at the start.

When the lights went out Andersen made a poor start from pole in his Hyundai, allowing Engstler to sieze the lead before the first corner, followed by the Honda of Dominik Fugel in second.

Marcel Fugel also got past Andersen at Turn 1, with the Dane initially settling into fourth in the early stages.

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During the first lap the leading eight drivers began to break free from ninth-placed Szymon Ładniak, who held up a second pack of cars in his Volkswagen Golf GTi.

René Kircher passed former TCR Italy racer Eric Scalvini for seventh at the final corner on lap two, as the leading eight continued to pull clear.

Philipp Regensperger then passed Ładniak at the end of the third lap, whilst at the front Engstler had opened up a comfortable margin over second-placed Dominik Fugel, who in turn had breathing space ahead of his brother Marcel.

Kircher had been running in seventh but was handed a drive-through penalty for a jump start, which he served on lap and dropped him down the order to 15th at the time.

Series newcomer Jonas Karklys was running in fifth in the early stages, before dropping behind Gruber and on lap eight the Lithaunaian was tagged by Scalvini at Turn 4, dropping him to seventh. However, the stewards soon ordered the positions be swapped.

Nevertheless, Scalvini continued to make progress, re-passing Karklys for seventh just eight corners later. On lap 14 Scalvini then took Andersen for fifth, before closing in on Nico Gruber’s Hyundai.

Gruber had earlier passed Andersen for fourth at the first and second corners, but didn’t have the pace to catch the Fugel brothers ahead and soon feel into the clutches of the charging Scalvini.

The TCR Italy race winner then sealed the pass on Gruber on the final lap, pulling off a superb pass around the outside at Turns 14 and 15 to claim fourth place at the chequered flag.

At the front, Engstler claimed his first win in the series since 2018, ahead of Dominik and Marcel Fugel to complete the podium, the latter having closed in on his brother in the final stages.

Scalvini was fourth on his series début ahead of Gruber, whilst pole-sitter Andersen had to settle for sixth.

Regensperger claimed seventh in his Lubner Motorsport Opel, ahead of Karklys in eighth, who slipped back in the second half of the race.

The top ten was completed by Patrick Sing’s Hyundai and Alberto Legutko’s FK2-model Honda Civic, whilst Kircher recovered to 11th after late-race battles with Szymon Ładniak and newcomer Robin Jahr.

The only retirement of the race was Wimmer Werk Motorsport’s Peter Gross, who pulled his Audi off the track on lap five with technical troubles.

Race two is scheduled to get underway on Sunday at 14:10 CEST (13:10 BST), after qualifying for the race at 09:40 CEST (08:40 BST).

Race results

1 8 Luca ENGSTLER Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 32:52.305 1:31.930 2
2 88 Dominik FUGEL Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 21 2.927 1:32.452 3
3 55 Marcel FUGEL Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 21 3.083 1:32.931 4
4 6 Eric SCALVINI Wimmer Werk Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 21 7.433 1:32.535 10
5 97 Nicolas GRUBER Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 7.714 1:32.569 5
6 19 Martin ANDERSEN Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 15.237 1:32.600 1
7 33 Philipp REGENSPERGER Lubner Motorsport Opel Astra TCR 21 18.613 1:33.563 8
8 27 Jonas KARKLYS NordPass Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 24.403 1:32.779 6
9 34 Patrick SING RaceSing Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 31.675 1:34.169 12
10 17 Albert LEGUTKO Albert Legutko Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK2 TCR 21 43.335 1:34.785 17
11 80 René KIRCHER Volkswagen Team Oettinger Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 45.478 1:32.195 7
12 21 Szymon ŁADNIAK JP Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 21 1:02.579 1:35.110 13
13 22 Robin JAHR ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 1:03.327 1:34.578 11
14 9 Roland HERTNER Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 1:07.454 1:34.753 14
15 56 Günter BENNINGER Wimmer Werk Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 21 1:21.270 1:34.847 15
16 99 Christian VOITHOFER Wimmer Werk Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 20 + 1 LAP 1:36.370 16
R 5 Peter GROSS Wimmer Werk Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 4 DNF 1:34.736 9
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