One of the most longstanding teams in touring car racing, Engstler Motorsport have been competing in international tin-top championships spanning three decades.
Founded in 1996 and run by former racer Franz Engstler, the team currently compete in various TCR championships around the world, including the TCR International Series, ADAC TCR Germany Series, TCR Asia Series and the TCR Middle East Series.
The German team are based just outside Wiggensbach, near the border between Austria and Germany in Bavaria. This makes them ideally situated to be running touring cars throughout much of Europe, being particularly centrally-located.
Engstler Motorsport were one of the first outfits to commit to the TCR concept when it was announced in 2014, and have been mainstays of the category ever since, with Franz Engstler himself describing TCR as “the right concept for the right time”.
Previously, Engstler Motorsport competed in the World Touring Car Championship, predominantly between 2008 and 2014 when the team ran full-season multi-car efforts (although the first forays came in the 2005 and 2007 season finales in Macau).
The team have a particularly strong history in Asia, having won the Asian Touring Car Championship three times, in 2005 and 2006 with Franz Engstler, and again in 2008 with Thai racer Jack Lemvard.
Engstler then graduated to the WTCC in 2008, running in the Independents category when the championship was arguably at its peak. Engstler himself finished runner-up in the Independents’ standings that year, before following it up with third in 2009 and runner-up again in 2010.
Perhaps the highest-point of the German’s racing career came in 2011, when he took an outright victory in the German round – his only WTCC win – in front of a packed crowd and contingent of German sponsors.
Engstler continued in the championship for another three years, still running the Super 2000 BMW cars which had long since stopped receiving developments. In 2014, the team’s last in the WTCC, they ran in the lower ‘TC2’ class with their ageing 3-series’, before moving to TCR in 2015.
Not many outfits can enjoy the type of long-term sponsorship arrangement which Engstler have with German lubricants manufacturer Liqui Moly, with the partnership having endured for more than a decade.
The desire for Liqui Moly to be associated with a German car brand meant that Engstler initially started in TCR with the Audi TT Cup Racer, a car which was not originally designed for the championship. Due to the fact that the car shared a platform with the SEAT León, around which the TCR regulations were developed, the car was given a special waiver and allowed to compete in the first four events of the inaugural season.
When that waiver expired, Engstler had to run SEATs for three rounds whilst they awaited the delivery of the first Volkswagen Golf GTi cars to be delivered from Volkswagen Motorsport. The car immediately impressed, taking victory with Pol Rossell on its maiden outing at the Red Bull Ring.
With the Golf now fully developed, Engstler have acquired a number of chassis and are campaigning the cars around the world in TCR.
|Based:||Wendelins 4, 87487 Wiggensbach, Germany|
|Team Principal:||Franz Engstler|
|Current series:||TCR Intl, TCR Asia, TCR Germany, TCR Middle East, ETCC|
|Previous series:||ATCS, WTCC|