Dominik Fugel dominates opening race at the Sachsenring

Team Honda ADAC Sachsen’s Dominik Fugel comfortably won the opening ADAC TCR Germany race at the Sachsenring, as championship leader Luca Engstler retired from the race with mechanical issues.

Fugel made a good getaway when the lights went out to lead into the first corner, as behind him brother Marcel Fugel and Hyundai Team Engstler’s Martin Andersen battled for second, with Marcel Fugel trying to pass on the outside line.

As Marcel and Andersen battled, it gave Luca Engstler the opportunity to benefit and the German moved into second by the end of the first lap, ahead of Fugel and Andersen.

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Despite assuming second, even Engstler had no answer to Dominik Fugel’s pace, and by lap ten he was over ten seconds adrift.

Disaster then struck for Engstler on lap 11 when he slowed on track, being forced into the pitlane as his Hyundai crawled around with a possible transmission issue.

That promoted Marcel Fugel into second for a time, but on lap 14 Andersen had closed back in on the Honda, and the pair made slight contact at the exit of Turn 1 on lap 15.

At the end of the lap, under intense pressure from Andersen and René Kircher’s Volkswagen, who had closed in on the battle, Marcel Fugel took a tight defensive line into the last corner and was easily slingshot by both drivers going onto the start/finish straight.

A few laps later, Marcel Fugel appeared to experience technical issues and dropped out of the top ten.

During this time, Philipp Regensperger had worked his way up to fifth in the Lubner Motorsport Opel, although he came under increasing pressure from Patrick Sing and Christopher Röhner.

On the penultimate lap both Sing and Röhner found a way past Regensperger for fourth and fifth respectively, with the latter also benefitting from the demise of Nico Gruber, who had been running in sixth.

At the front, Dominik Fugel took an easy win, his third at the Sachsenring, by almost fifteen seconds from Andersen and Kircher.

Sing and Röhner were fourth and fifth after their late-race move on Regensperger, who was sixth.

Robin Jahr took seventh, despite starting the race from the back of the grid, ahead of Roland Hertner in eighth, the 61-year-old benefitting from a scrappy race ahead of him.

The top ten was completed by Szymon Ładniak, this weekend returning to the series in a CUPRA, and the Hyundai of Jonas Karklys, who dropped down the order late in the race after battling his way up to eighth at one stage.

Title contender Eric Scalvini never really showed signs of moving up the order after a poor qualifying session, and on lap nine his issues were compounded when he was hit by the recovering Albert Legutko, who had gone wide into Turn 1 and then clipped Scalvini’s CUPRA, sending him into a half-spin. The Italian ultimately finished in 13th, whilst Engstler was classified 16th, two laps down.

The result means Engstler retains his points lead (255) ahead of Scalvini (190), Dominik Fugel (178), Andersen (177) and Gruber (136).

Race result

1 88 Dominik FUGEL Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 22 22 LAPS 1:27.498 1
2 19 Martin ANDERSEN Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 22 14.389 1:28.632 2
3 80 René KIRCHER Volkswagen Team Oettinger Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 22 20.529 1:28.989 5
4 34 Patrick SING RaceSing Hyundai i30 N TCR 22 25.079 1:29.947 10
5 47 Christopher RÖHNER Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 22 25.278 1:29.861 6
6 33 Philipp REGENSPERGER Lubner Motorsport Opel Astra TCR 22 34.790 1:28.893 7
7 22 Robin JAHR ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai i30 N TCR 22 36.334 1:29.967 17
8 9 Roland HERTNER Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 22 45.183 1:30.266 13
9 21 Szymon ŁADNIAK JP Motorsport CUPRA TCR 22 45.268 1:30.609 12
10 27 Jonas KARKLYS NordPass Hyundai i30 N TCR 22 59.006 1:29.743 9
11 5 Peter GROSS Wimmer Werk Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 22 1:05.024 1:30.724 15
12 97 Nicolas GRUBER Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 + 1 LAP 1:28.872 8
13 6 Eric SCALVINI Wimmer Werk Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 21 + 1 LAP 1:29.381 11
14 56 Günter BENNINGER Wimmer Werk Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 21 + 1 LAP 1:33.301 16
15 55 Marcel FUGEL Honda ADAC Sachsen Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 21 + 1 LAP 1:28.216 3
16 8 Luca ENGSTLER Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 20 + 2 LAPS 1:28.198 4
17 17 Albert LEGUTKO Albert Legutko Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK2 TCR 14 DNF 1:29.872 14
18 99 Christian VOITHOFER Wimmer Werk Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 1 DNF N/A 18
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