Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Szymon Ładniak took his second win of the ADAC TCR Germany season in the opening race of the weekend at the Hockenheimring, having beaten pole-sitter Jonas Karklys away from the line.
Karklys had on Friday put his NordPass Hyundai on pole position by a margin of over three tenths of a second from Ładniak to score his second outright pole of the season.
But at the start, the Lithuanian made a poor launch, allowing Pole Ładniak into the lead, as Karklys had to fight with Robin Jahr for second through the opening sequence of turns.
Although Karklys looked to have prevailed, the stewards felt he had carried out ‘incorrect overtaking’.
Exiting turn 3, Karklys then lost ground to Jahr and Vincent Radermecker. Jahr locked up into the hairpin on the opening lap, and ultimately dropped to fourth by the end of the lap, as Karklys claimed second back from Radermecker’s Holden.
However, due to the aforementioned ‘incorrect overtaking’, Karklys was ordered by the stewards to drop back behind Jahr, which he quickly did so, falling to fifth.
Ładniak held a lead of over three seconds by the end of the opening lap, but with Karklys dropping back, his team-mate Martin Andersen was quickly into second by the end of lap two.
Andersen then gradually reduced Ładniak’s lead over the rest of the race, which had a quiet period in the middle, but ultimately he ran out of time as a late-race safety car period meant the field took the chequered flag behind the pace car.
For Ładniak it is his second win of the year and moves him closer to Jessica Bäckman in the battle for the runners-up spot in the standings.
Bäckman was in fact the reason the race ended behind the safety car. The Comtoyou Racing driver had fought her way up from the back of the grid, due to not posting a time after an accident on Friday, to fifth before she suffered from a high-speed suspension failure.
As she turned her Audi into Turn 8, the left-rear suspension failed, spinning her car and leaving it stricken on track.
Radermecker would have taken the chequered flag in the third, but he stopped on the penultimate lap with an issue, denying him what would have been a first podium of the season.
Thus Karklys claimed the final podium place, ahead of René Kircher’s ROJA Motorsport Hyundai in fourth.
Tim Rölleke was fifth, with his team boss Jahr taking sixth, even though the German had tried to pass near the end of the race – he ended up locking his brakes into the hairpin and going too deep.
Albert Legutko failed to start the race in his older-generation Honda Civic.
Qualifying for race two takes place later today at 18:00 CEST, whilst race two is on Sunday at 11:30 CEST.
|1||21||Szymon ŁADNIAK||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||17||32:93.913||1:49.464||2|
|2||19||Martin ANDERSEN||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||17||0.504||1:48.919||5|
|3||27||Jonas KARKLYS||NordPass||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||1.113||1:49.253||1|
|4||8||René KIRCHER||ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||1.957||1:49.887||7|
|5||44||Tim RÖLLEKE||ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||2.258||1:49.906||6|
|6||22||Robin JAHR||ROJA Motorsport by ASL Lichtblau||Hyundai Veloster N TCR||17||2.313||1:49.578||4|
|7||9||Roland HERTNER||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||17||3.477||1:50.843||9|
|8||34||Patrick SING||RaceSing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||4.370||1:51.092||8|
|9||17||Michael MAURER||maurer motorsport||Holden Astra TCR||16||+ 1 LAP||2:01.858||11|
|10||11||Vincent RADERMECKER||maurer motorsport||Holden Astra TCR||15||+ 2 LAPS||1:49.234||3|
|11||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||13||+ 4 LAPS||1:49.304||12|
|R||13||Max GRUHN||Gruhn Stahlbau Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||2||DNF||N/A||10|
|NS||77||Albert LEGUTKO||Albert Legutko Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK2 TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|