Niels Langeveld takes commanding Zandvoort win
Audi’s Niels Langeveld won the second TCR Germany race of the weekend at Zandvoort. The Dutchman came home ahead of stable-mate Sheldon van der Linde, with Jason Wolfe completing the podium in the Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
The start of the race was quite smooth, as Langeveld stayed in the lead ahead of Target Competition’s Josh Files in his Honda Civic TCR. Sheldon van der Linde was third ahead of Sandro Kaibach in the Aust Motorsport Audi. Langeveld opened a gap as the cars behind him started battling for the positions behind him, with van der Linde overtaking Files at the last corner on the second lap.
Team Engstler’s Florian Thoma beached his Golf in the gravel at the first corner on the third lap, which triggered a safety car period. It was not until the eighth lap that the race could restart, as Langeveld had a perfect getaway and left the rest of the field fighting hard for position. Wolfe managed to overtake Files for third, as the Brit looked like he had a technical problem and lost several places to end up 14th.
Team Engstler’s Stefan Goede touched SEAT’s Rudolf Rhyn and sent him into the gravel, which not only earned the Volkswagen driver a drive through penalty, but also triggered another safety car. Just in that moment light rain started to fall on the Zandvoort circuit, although not enough to cause grip problems for the drivers.
A smooth restart for the leader left him again clear of van der Linde, but Audi’s Antti Buri made a mistake at the first corner and slipped down to 17th. In the last sector Mike Halder made full use of a mistake from Kaibach, the SEAT overtaking the Audi for fourth.
There were more entertaining scraps before the end of the race, as Luca Engstler defended seventh from Harald Proczyk’s SEAT, the Austrian managing to overtake the Volkswagen driver on the first corner at the last lap, with Pascal Eberle putting the nose of his SEAT ahead of Engstler’s car to take eighth away from the German rookie.
Drama was not over as Mike Halder attacked Wolfe for third. The two touched at the chicane, but it looked like the Austrian realised he had made a mistake and did not overtake the Volkswagen driver. Halder is nevertheless under investigation for the touch.
Langeveld won ahead of van der Linde, with Wolfe in third. Halder finished fourth ahead of Honda’s Steve Kirsch, with Kaibach sixth in his Audi. Harald Proczyk’s last-lap overtake earned him seventh ahead of SEAT stable-mate Pascal Eberle. Luca Engstler finished ninth ahead of SEAT’s Alex Morgan, who completed the top ten.