Mikel Azcona continued his remarkable winning streak in the TCR Europe series after a last lap move on title rival Franco Girolami saw him take his fourth win of the season.
A fine start from Azcona saw the Spaniard find himself in second by the early stages of the opening lap and he soon caught up to the back of long-time race leader Girolami, who had managed to get ahead of pole sitter Isidro Callejas off the start line.
The leading two drivers made contact several times throughout the 11 laps on Saturday afternoon, but both drivers continued without damage to continue their fine battle in Germany.
The later stages of the race saw Girolami, who seemingly was gradually struggling more and more with less grip compared to championship leader Azcona, forced to defend through the opening complex of corners as each lap was completed.
Azcona at one point was physically ahead of his rival after the pair made contact on the pit straight, but a fine late breaking move into T1 saw Girolami retake the lead just seconds later.
However on the final lap Girolami decided to take a different line through turns two and three and this enabled Azcona to dive up the inside at T4 and the Spaniard ended the race 1.4 seconds ahead of his rival after taking the win.
Behind the leading duo was Niels Langeveld, who couldn’t quite match the pace of the two drivers ahead of him despite his best efforts.
The Dutchman was comfortably ahead of fourth placed Teddy Clairet however, with the Team Clairet Sport driver ending race one of the weekend in fourth and ahead of Tom Coronel.
Isidro Callejas, who had started the race from pole, couldn’t make the most of his opportunity at the front of the field and struggled for pace across the 11 laps aboard the Brutal Fish Racing Honda and crossed the line in seventh.
Dušan Borković claimed eighth in race one, with the second of the Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai’s of Sami Taoufik finishing ninth. Mat’o Homola completed the top 10 in race one of the weekend.
Reigning champion Mehdi Bennani again struggled after missing out on Q2 on Saturday morning and could only end race one in 11th, with Jáchym Galáš finishing ahead of Felice Jelmini and the pair took 12th and 13th respecitlvy.
Nicolas Baert was another driver to again end race one further down the order than he would be hoping for in 14th, while Jimmy Clairet, who started the opening race of the weekend from the back of the field following an engine change, recovered to end race one in the points in 15th.
Martin Ryba held off Brutal Fish teammate and race two pole sitter Jack Young for 16th, with Viktor Davidosvski, Gilles Colombani and TCR Europe debutant Łukasz Stolarczyk completing the field.
The only retirement from race one was Sylvain Pussier, with the Team Clairet Sport CUPRA driver being forced to head for the pitlane in the late stages of the race.
Race two of the weekend is set to take place on Sunday at 12:50 CEST (11:50 BST).
|1||96||Mikel AZCONA||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||11||23:45.032||2:08.234||5|
|2||72||Franco GIROLAMI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||1.460||2:08.364||2|
|3||10||Niels LANGEVELD||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||11||1.967||2:08.123||3|
|4||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||11||10.351||2:08.830||4|
|5||32||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||11||12.039||2:09.379||6|
|6||14||Klim GAVRILOV||VRC-Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||11||13.191||2:09.257||7|
|7||26||Isidro CALLEJAS||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||14.356||2:09.201||1|
|8||162||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||11||14.864||2:09.591||11|
|9||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||11||15.708||2:09.337||15|
|10||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||16.074||2:09.553||14|
|11||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||11||23.471||2:09.820||13|
|12||24||Jáchym GALÁŠ||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||28.251||2:10.322||8|
|13||44||Felice JELMINI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||11||28.787||2:10.078||16|
|14||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||11||30.512||2:10.260||12|
|15||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||11||30.947||2:10.620||21|
|16||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||31.802||2:10.718||17|
|17||62||Jack YOUNG||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||33.122||2:10.705||10|
|18||110||Viktor DAVIDOVSKI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||34.099||2:11.027||9|
|19||66||Gilles COLOMBANI||Team Clairet Sport||CUPRA TCR||11||46.511||2:11.550||19|
|20||53||Lukas STOLARCZYK||BTC Maszyny||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||11||1:01.931||2:13.101||20|
|R||77||Sylvain PUSSIER||Team Clairet Sport||CUPRA TCR||7||DNF||2:11.842||18|