Luca Engstler took a lights-to-flag victory in the first TCR Germany race since May at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, beating Hyundai Team Engstler team-mate Martin Andersen to the win.
At the start, Engstler made a good launch to lead into the first corner, as Lithuanian racer Jonas Karklys held second.
Andersen jumped ahead of team-mate Nico Gruber through the second corner to claim third, as further back Peter Gross got into Wimmer Werk team-mate Christian Voithofer, spinning the latter’s CUPRA at Turn 6.
Going onto the third lap championship contender Eric Scalvini made a move on René Kircher’s Volkswagen for seventh heading into the first turn, with Robin Jahr hoping to slot his Hyundai up the inside for eighth.
However, Kircher held his line through the Turns 2, 3 and 4 sequences, and Jahr went off line, dropping him to 12th behind the Hyundai of Roland Hertner.
Jahr endured firther dramas on lap ten when he hit Hertner’s Hyundai and sent the 61-year-old into a spin.
At the start of lap 12 Andersen finally found a way past Karklys for second at the first corner, although the Dane had no answer to Engstler’s leading advantage, which then stood at just over a second.
The race was relatively uneventful until lap 14 when Kircher had to pull his Volkswagen Golf to the side of the circuit with a fire, prompting a lengthy safety car intervention.
Racing resumed with just two laps to go, but Engstler held on to win for a third time this year and lead a Hyundai quartet consisting of Andersen, Karklys and Gruber, with Karklys claiming his first podium in the series.
Marcel Fugel was the best Honda driver in fifth, ahead of Eric Scalvini in sixth, the Italian passing Dominik Fugel for the place at Turn 1 on the final lap.
Indeed, Fugel appeared to have problems for the last two laps, as he also lost out to new team-mate Christopher Röhner, who had passed Albert Leugtko on the last lap and then gained another two places past Philipp Regensperer and Fugel as they battled.
Dominik Fugel held on to take the chequered flag in eighth, ahead of Regensperger’s Opel and Hertner, who completed the top ten.
In the drivers’ championship, Engstler has moved up to 153 points ahead of Scalvini (112), Dominik Fugel (105), Andersen (81) and Gruber (80).
Race two is scheduled to take place at 14:40 CEST on Sunday (13:40 BST).
|1||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||32:31.517||1:30.344||1|
|2||19||Martin ANDERSEN||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||3.091||1:30.500||4|
|3||27||Jonas KARKLYS||NordPass||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||3.973||1:30.491||2|
|4||97||Nicolas GRUBER||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||4.978||1:30.881||3|
|5||55||Marcel FUGEL||Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||20||5.787||1:31.422||5|
|6||6||Eric SCALVINI||Wimmer Werk Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||20||10.451||1:31.475||6|
|7||47||Christopher RÖHNER||Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||20||11.610||1:31.680||9|
|8||88||Dominik FUGEL||Honda ADAC Sachsen||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||20||12.401||1:31.157||7|
|9||33||Philipp REGENSPERGER||Lubner Motorsport||Opel Astra TCR||20||12.563||1:31.694||17|
|10||9||Roland HERTNER||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||13.570||1:31.866||11|
|11||22||Robin JAHR||ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||13.954||1:31.740||12|
|12||5||Peter GROSS||Wimmer Werk Motorsport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||20||14.878||1:31.931||18|
|13||99||Christian VOITHOFER||Wimmer Werk Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||20||22.549||1:32.824||14|
|14||56||Günter BENNINGER||Wimmer Werk Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||20||24.310||1:32.574||16|
|15||34||Patrick SING||RaceSing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||20||25.627||1:32.062||15|
|16||17||Albert LEGUTKO||Albert Legutko Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK2 TCR||20||29.553||1:31.947||13|
|17||21||Szymon ŁADNIAK||JP Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||19||+ 1 LAP||1:31.939||19|
|R||80||René KIRCHER||Volkswagen Team Oettinger||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||14||DNF||1:31.712||10|