Martin Andersen moves closer to TCR Germany title with double victory

Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Martin Andersen took a step closer to winning this year’s ADAC TCR Germany title after two wins at the Lausitzring, as his closest rival Jessica Bäckman had an error-strewn weekend.

Race one

Although qualifying had been in the dry on Friday evening, race day brought wet conditions to the Lausitzring.

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Pole-sitter Andersen was beaten away from the line by Liqui Moly Team Engstler team-mate Szymon Ładniak at the start, as fellow front-row starter Bäckman got off to a terrible start, dropping to sixth away from the line.

However, Andersen would soon re-take the lead, passing his Polish team-mate with confidence on the second lap.

Thereafter, the Dane would manage the gap to his team-mate to claim a fourth win of the season, despite having to manage a restart after a mid-race safety car interruption.

That safety car had been required to remove the stricken Hyundai Veloster of Andersen’s nearest title rival, with Bäckman having slid off into the gravel with an unforced error whilst running in sixth on lap three.

The chequered flag flew after ten more laps racing, with Andersen winning by over six seconds ahead of Ładniak.

The podium was completed by ROJA Motorsport’s René Kircher, who passed fellow Hyundai i30 N racer Jonas Karklys for the place on lap seven with a well-judged pass around the outside at Turn 7.

That left Lithuanian Karklys to take fourth, ahead of Maurer Motorsport’s Vincent Radermecker in fifth, the Belgian having got the jump on the slow-starting Robin Jahr at the start.

Race one result

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 19 Martin ANDERSEN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 16 29:56.724 1:44.552 1
2 21 Szymon ŁADNIAK Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 16 6.513 1:45.247 3
3 8 René KIRCHER ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai i30 N TCR 16 8.171 1:45.414 5
4 27 Jonas KARKLYS NordPass Hyundai i30 N TCR 16 8.829 1:45.131 4
5 11 Vincent RADERMECKER maurer motorsport Holden Astra TCR 16 10.732 1:44.853 7
6 22 Robin JAHR ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai Veloster N TCR 16 12.821 1:44.835 6
7 9 Roland HERTNER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 16 15.911 1:45.574 10
8 34 Patrick SING RaceSing Hyundai i30 N TCR 16 21.705 1:45.722 9
9 13 Max GRUHN Gruhn Stahlbau Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 16 40.569 1:46.821 8
10 17 Michael MAURER maurer motorsport Holden Astra TCR 16 1:19.499 1:51.954 11
R 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai Veloster N TCR 2 DNF 1:48.459 2
Szymon Ladniak, Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR
Ładniak took the lead at the start of a wet opening race. Photo: ADAC / Gruppe C

Race two

Andersen clinched his second win of the weekend in a largely processional dry race on Sunday, with victory for the Dane moving him even further clear at the top of the drivers’ championship standings.

In Saturday’s wet race two qualifying session it was actually his title rival Bäckman who took pole position, but the Swede again got a poor start when the lights went out, as Andersen assumed the lead ahead of team-mate Ładniak.

Bäckman dropped to fourth behind Karklys, and she would follow the Hyundai driver for much of the race, clearly having more pace but being unable to find a way through for most of the distance.

As Ładniak struggled for pace in second in the closing laps, it bunched up the chasing cars and Karklys was under heavy pressure. Going on to the penultimate lap, Bäckman gor up the inside of Karklys for second, but her team-mate Jahr had caught both of them by this stage.

Going into Turn 1, Jahr moved to the inside early on, but Bäckman continued to turn into the corner, as she completed her pass on Karklys.

The two ROJA team-mates made contact, spinning Bäckman down to eighth whilst eliminating Jahr with broken suspension, just two laps from the end.

The drama enabled Ładniak to hold on to second, with Karklys completing the podium ahead of the best ROJA car of Kircher in fourth.

With Andersen winning yet again, he has opened up a championship lead of 71 points over Bäckman, with just four races left to run and 25 points available for a win and ten for scoring pole position.

The Dane is thus edging ever-closer to his first title win in TCR, whilst Bäckman has slipped further back after a weekend riddled with errors.

The next TCR Germany event takes place at the Sachsenring on 24 – 25 September.

Race result

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 19 Martin ANDERSEN Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 21 32:18.469 1:31.148 2
2 21 Szymon ŁADNIAK Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 21 6.855 1:31.286 3
3 27 Jonas KARKLYS NordPass Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 8.621 1:31.126 4
4 8 René KIRCHER ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 12.569 1:31.617 5
5 11 Vincent RADERMECKER maurer motorsport Holden Astra TCR 21 13.059 1:31.780 9
6 9 Roland HERTNER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 21 29.972 1:32.467 6
7 13 Max GRUHN Gruhn Stahlbau Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 21 32.184 1:32.030 10
8 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai Veloster N TCR 21 32.662 1:31.535 1
9 34 Patrick SING RaceSing Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 38.648 1:32.736 8
10 17 Michael MAURER maurer motorsport Holden Astra TCR 20 + 1 LAP 1:36.233 11
11 22 Robin JAHR ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai Veloster N TCR 19 + 2 LAPS 1:31.388 7
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