(stories via TCR-Series.com)
Despite the large field of 37 cars, the start and first lap were extremely orderly, with the two men on the front row, Niels Langeveld (Audi) and Pascal Eberle (SEAT) getting passed by Moritz Oestreich (Honda) and Kris Richard (Honda). Luca Engstler (Volkswagen) was fifth, while the championship leader Josh Files (Target Honda) took P6 on lap 2, despite starting from the seventh row. The race’s first victim was Sheldon van der Linde (Audi), who retired in the pits on lap 2 with a technical problem.
On lap 5, Simon Larsson (Audi) hit the barriers at the chicane, prompting the deployment of the Safety Car. At the restart, things stayed pretty much the same, with Engstler moving up to 4th. Steve Kirsch (Honda) passed Files for 6th, but when he tried to attack Langeveld there was a slight contact and the Honda went off-track and rejoined in P13. On lap 14, it was Files who went straight on after some rubbing with Langeveld, losing six positions. Shortly afterwards, Langeveld was passed by Florian Thoma (Volkswagen) and Tim Zimmermann (Audi) who moved up to 4th and 5th.
The race ended in drama, as at the beginning of last lap the engine of Richard’s Honda, that had been chasing the leader Oestreich for the entire race, blew at the beginning of the straight and caught fire. Oestreich therefore won under yellow flags, preceding Eberle, Engstler, Thoma, Zimmermann and Langeveld with Files finishing tenth.
Niels Langeveld of Racing One gave Audi its first victory in the TCR Germany, although the Dutchman is currently being investigated for an incident that eliminated Florian Thoma’s Volkswagen.
Thoma made an excellent start from P2 and took the lead ahead of Steve Kirsch (Honda), Luca Engstler (Volkswagen), Langeveld and Josh Files (Honda), while Gosia Rdest’s Audi was pushed against the wall and Sheldon van der Linde’s Audi stalled on the grid.
On lap 2, Langeveld took third from Engstler, but the safety-car was out to allow retrieving the Honda of Jürgen Schmarl from the gravel trap. At the restart there was a nice fight for the lead between Thoma and Kirsch, with the Swiss keeping the advantage, while Kirsch was defending the position from Langeveld. A slight contact between them sent Kirsch’s Honda into the gravel trap, with the safety-car out again, as Jasmine Preisig’s Opel was also stuck in the gravel.
Shortly after the restart, Thoma spun in the last corner and was luckily avoided by the other cars; he rejoined in P12. Langeveld inherited the leadership ahead of Files, who passed Engstler, with Race 1 winner Morits Oestreich (Honda) fourth ahead of Harald Proczyk (SEAT) and Tom Lautenschlager (Audi).
Files has further stretched his leadership in the championship classification to 87 and 88 points ahead of Oestreich and Thoma respectively.
The ADAC TCR Germany will resume on 22 and 23 July at Zandvoort, Netherlands.