Martin Andersen edges closer to title after fifth consecutive win

Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Martin Andersen now has one hand on the ADAC TCR Germany title after the Dane claimed his fifth win in a row in the first race at the Sachsenring.

Andersen had claimed pole position for both of the weekend’s races in the pair of qualifying sessions held on Friday, giving him the best possible start to the weekend.

When the lights went out in race one, the Honda driver initially came under some pressure from Jessica Bäckman, who has now changed to racing a new Audi run by Comtoyou Racing.

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But further around the lap Bäckman made a mistake and went wide, dropping three places and allowing Andersen’s team-mate Szymon Ładniak into second.

Andersen began to eke out a lead gradually in the opening laps, but by the halfway stage it became clear that Ładniak was beginning to struggle with his tyres as he withstood pressure from the ROJA Motorsport Hyundai of René Kircher.

On lap 12 Ładniak was nudged wide at the final corner by Kircher, who charged into second on the run to the first corner as Ładniak clipped the gravel with one wheel.

The order then changed substantially on lap 16 when Kircher appeared to slow, having been told by race control to cede second to Ładniak but in the process allowing Maurer Motorsport’s Niels Langevled into second and Bäckman into third.

Kircher and Ładniak continued to squabble for fourth in the closing laps, with Kircher ultimately prevailing, before Nordpass’ Jonas Karklys, who had stalled from third on the grid at the start, completed his recovery drive to steal fifth just before the red flags came out.

The race was stopped and not resumed because Team Engstler’s Roland Hertner had run wide, put a wheel on the gravel and crashed heavily into the armco on the opposite side of the track.

With the barriers being damaged and only a minute and a half left on the clock, the result was called, giving Andersen the win by a margin of over 12 seconds from Langeveld.

Bäckman completed the podium in third, ahead of Kircher and Karklys.

Ładniak crossed the finish line in sixth, ahead of Robin Jahr and series newcomer Tim Rölleke.

Hertner was classified in ninth on countback, with Patrick Sing completing the top ten, having dropped back from a high of sixth early in the race.

Race two is scheduled for 11:35 CEST (10:35 BST) on Sunday, with Andersen potentially able to wrap up the title this weekend with a round to spare.

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 18 26:42.577 1:27.776 1
2 14 Niels LANGEVELD maurer motorsport Holden Astra TCR 18 12.432 1:28.315 6
3 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 18 13.589 1:28.461 2
4 8 René KIRCHER ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai i30 N TCR 18 17.769 1:27.928 5
5 27 Jonas KARKLYS NordPass Hyundai i30 N TCR 18 23.135 1:28.244 3
6 21 Szymon ŁADNIAK Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 18 23.733 1:27.720 4
7 22 Robin JAHR ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai Veloster N TCR 18 28.769 1:28.984 12
8 44 Tim RÖLLEKE ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai i30 N TCR 18 29.163 1:29.084 9
9 9 Roland HERTNER Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 18 31.455 1:28.738 7
10 34 Patrick SING RaceSing Hyundai i30 N TCR 18 32.410 1:28.757 8
11 18 Kai JORDAN ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau Hyundai Veloster N TCR 18 36.772 1:29.188 11
12 13 Max GRUHN Gruhn Stahlbau Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 16 + 2 LAPS 1:28.912 10
13 38 Kai ROSOWSKI K-Ro Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 16 + 2 LAPS 1:32.121 13
R 17 Michael MAURER maurer motorsport Holden Astra TCR 1 DNF N/A 14
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