Mike Halder claimed victory in the opening TCR Europe race on the Norisring city circuit, the Halder Motorsport driver putting in a strong defensive drive to win on home soil ahead of Target Competition’s Josh Files.
At the start, Halder was beaten to the first corner by Target’s Felice Jelmini, but as the Italian went to defend the inside line he missed his braking point by far and went spinning off in front of the field.
That allowed Halder to reclaim the lead, as behind him Pepe Oriola, on his first weekend in the Aggressive Team Italia Hyundai Elantra, made contact with Target’s Nicola Baldan, putting him out of the race at the first corner.
Further around the lap, Élite Motorsport’s Marco Butti and Volcano Motorsport’s Evgenii Leonov also picked up damage, with the former ending up stranded on track. Along with Oriola’s car, this required a lengthy safety car intervention to remove the damaged vehicles.
Racing resumed on lap 11, with Halder handling the restart well under heavy pressure from Files.
Volcano’s Isidro Callejas, meanwhile, had taken advantage when Viktor Davidovski, then running in third, tried to put files under pressure for the place at the first corner but went wide on the exit, allowing Callejas’ CUPRA through into the final podium position.
A lap later, Davidovski allowed championship leader and Comtoyou Racing team-mate Franco Girolami through into fourth.
Callejas then passed Files for second one lap later, before setting about pressuring Halder for the race lead.
The top four ran nose-to-tail for several laps, and on lap 22 Files was able to take advantage of Callejas being unable to get away and pulled a late move into the final hairpin to reclaim second.
Girolami passed for third on the run out of the corner and into Turn 1, with Davidovski also muscling through into fourth.
But no-one was able to pass Halder at the front, and the German claimed his first win of the season just ahead of Files and Girolami, who extended his points lead.
Davidovski claimed fourth as the leading driver in the Diamon Trophy class, ahead of Callejas in fifth, the young Spaniard unable to regain any of the three places he lost four laps from the finish.
Janík Motorsport’s Mat’o Homola was sixth, the Hyundai racer having lost a place at the start, ahead of Sébastien Loeb Racing’s John Filippi in seventh.
Comtoyou Racing’s Stian Paulsen, acting as a sub for Tom Coronel this weekend, brought his Audi home in eighth.
The top ten was completed by the recovering Jelmini, who had dropped as low as 14th after his lap one spin, and Halder Motorsport’s Jack Young.
|1||7||Mike HALDER||Halder Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||26||28:46.879||55.306||1|
|2||99||Josh FILES||Target Motorsport||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||26||0.473||55.230||4|
|3||72||Franco GIROLAMI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||26||1.074||55.178||8|
|4||110||Viktor DAVIDOVSKI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||26||1.746||55.202||3|
|5||26||Isidro CALLEJAS||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||26||3.054||55.302||6|
|6||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||26||3.568||55.329||5|
|7||27||John FILIPPI||Sébastien Loeb Racing – Bardahl Team||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||26||4.106||55.180||7|
|8||39||Stian PAULSEN||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||26||4.647||55.305||16|
|9||44||Felice JELMINI||Target Competition||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||26||10.875||55.237||2|
|10||62||Jack YOUNG||Halder Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||26||12.135||55.556||9|
|11||24||Jáchym GALÁŠ||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||26||13.494||55.498||14|
|12||14||Klim GAVRILOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||26||14.513||55.679||10|
|13||8||Nicola BALDAN||Target Competition||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||26||15.337||55.202||15|
|14||12||Rubén FERNÁNDEZ Gil||RC2 Junior Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||26||16.846||55.476||13|
|15||37||Sergio LÓPEZ||RC2 Junior Team||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||26||17.453||55.659||20|
|16||53||Michelle HALDER||Halder Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||26||18.070||55.717||19|
|17||3||Giacomo GHERMANDI||Lema Racing||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||24||+ 2 LAPS||55.894||21|
|18||34||Patrick SING||RaceSing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||22||+ 4 LAPS||55.819||17|
|R||111||Marco BUTTI||Élite Motorsport by Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||0||DNF||N/A||11|
|R||16||Evgenii LEONOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||0||DNF||N/A||12|
|R||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Aggressive Team Italia Asd||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||0||DNF||N/A||18|