After following the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the TCR Europe Touring Car Series and the TCR UK Touring Car Championship in recent seasons, TCR Talk will be following a new series for 2019:
The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship
Here is the TCR Talk roundup of all the action that took place at the Oschersleben circuit, from Qualifying all the way through to Race One on Saturday and Race Two on Sunday…
Reigning champion Proczyk sets pole position
Harald Proczyk’s defence of his 2018 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship title started well, as the reigning champion set pole position for the season’s opening race at Oschersleben.
The HP Racing driver set only the sixth fastest lap in Q1, at the wheel of his Hyundai i30 N, nine-tenths of a second behind fellow Hyundai colleague Max Hesse of Team Engstler who clocked the fastest lap of 1:31.203.
In Q2, Hesse managed to improve and broke the 1:31 mark with a lap of 1:30.845, but Proczyk was even faster and claimed the pole with a lap of 1:30.666.
Mike Halder qualified his Honda Civic in third position, just ahead of his teammate Dominik Fugel, while Hesse’s teammate Théo Coicaud was fifth fastest.
Malaysia’s youngster Mitchell Cheah qualified an impressive sixth, best of the Volkswagen drivers and in the Young Drivers Trophy. The fastest Audi was Antti Buri’s in eighth place, while Steve Kirsch ranked twelfth in his Opel Astra.
Guido Naumann (Team Engstler Hyundai) and Michelle Halder (Profi-car Team Honda) qualified tenth and ninth respectively and will share the front row on the top-ten reverse grid for Sunday’s Race 2.
Hesse inherits pole as Proczyk is given a penalty
Harald Proczyk, the fastest in this morning’s TCR Germany Qualifying at Oschersleben was given a drop of three positions on the starting grid for this afternoon’s Race 1.
The reigning champion was deemed guilty of speeding during a red flag period that was caused by Bradley Burns’ Honda Civic stopped on the track.
Proczyk will, therefore, start from fourth on the grid, while Team Engstler’s Max Hesse inherited the pole position and Mike Halder’s Honda Civic will line up second, with his teammate Dominik Fugel third.
Mike Halder wins the opening race of the season
Mike Halder, driving a Honda Civic, won the opening race of the 2019 TCR Germany season at Oschersleben, beating the two Hyundai i30 N cars of Max Hesse and reigning champion Harald Proczyk.
Pole-sitter Hesse made a good start to the thirty-minute race and led Halder into Turn 1, ahead of Dominik Fugel’s Honda and Proczyk. Fugel was later judged to have jumped the start and was given a drive-through penalty that dropped him to sixteenth.
On Lap 2, the Volkswagen Golf of Mitchell Cheah went off through the gravel and collided with the barrier, which brought out the safety car for a brief intervention.
When the race restarted, Halder was right behind race leader Hesse and the Honda driver’s intentions were clear. Sure enough, Halder took the lead at the end of Lap 4 when he dived up the inside of Hesse and so had the line for the sprint up the start/finish straight.
Bradley Burns, meanwhile, had started from twelfth on the grid but thanks to a great start had climbed to seventh and the Honda was battling with Theo Coicaud’s Hyundai for sixth place in the early part of the race. There was contact between the pair on Lap 6 and Burns succeeded in passing on Lap 9. Thanks to Fugel’s penalty, Burns would go on to finish fifth and so claim the trophy for the best Rookie driver.
Like Burns, Antti Buri had made a good start and the Finn had improved from eighth on the grid to sixth by Lap 4. For a while, Buri was caught up in the battle between Burns and Coicaud, but the Audi pulled clear and Buri would eventually finish fourth. With Burns fifth and Coicaud sixth, the top ten was rounded off by Lukas Niedertscheider, Jan Seyffert, Steve Kirsch and René Kircher.
The final ten minutes or so were fairly processional with no major changes in position. Fugel passed Julien Apothéloz for thirteenth place on Lap 16 and then overtook Sebastian Steibel’s Volkswagen to finish in twelfth place.
Halder’s win means he took a three-point lead over Hesse in the Drivers’ championship, with Proczyk a further three points adrift.
Race 2 would see Guido Naumann (Team Engstler Hyundai) and Michelle Halder (Profi-car Team Honda) sharing the front row on the top-ten reverse grid.
Victory for Antti Buri in Oschersleben’s second race
Antti Buri, in the LMS Racing Audi RS 3 LMS, took victory in the ADAC TCR Germany’s Race 2 at Oschersleben.
The Finn took no prisoners and built his success from the start. He beat Race 1 winner Mike Halder, who is still leading the championship standings, and reigning champion Harald Proczyk. It was a perfect start from Buri, who passed the two cars on the front row, Guido Naumann’s and Michelle Halder’s, to take the lead straight away.
Théo Coicaud climbed quickly to third ahead of Mike Halder, Bradley Burns, Max Hesse and Proczyk.
After a couple of laps though, the safety-car was deployed to allow retrieving the Golf GTI of Maurits Sandberg that was stuck in the gravel. After the restart, Coicaud took second but he was under the threat of Halder who was followed by Hesse and Proczyk.
In lap 10, Halder managed to overtake Coicaud for second, with a perfect move and started chasing Buri. Another nice overtaking manoeuvre was completed by Burns on lap 12, as he stole seventh from Mitchell Cheah.
One lap later Proczyk overtook Hesse for fourth and then he began fighting with Coicaud for the third position. Eventually, the reigning champion managed to take third, while Coicaud dropped to sixth behind Hesse and Burns.
However, after the race, Proczyk was given a ten-second penalty for clashing with Coicaud and this dropped him from third to sixth.
The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Series will resume for rounds 3 and 4 at the Most Autodrome this weekend.
To watch the races with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:
I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.
All images are used in this blog are courtesy of ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography unless otherwise credited.
Until next time, all the best!