Harald Proczyk secures pole for TCR Germany finale
Harald Proczyk will start his bid to overhaul Luca Engstler in the TCR Germany standings from the front of the field after topping the times in qualifying for the season finale at Hockenheim.
In tricky wet conditions, Proczyk secured his first pole of the year at the wheel of his Opel Astra as the two title contenders locked out the front row of the grid, although Engstler’s Hyundai was some six-tenths of a second slower.
Engstler was one of a number of drivers to lose times for track limits infringements during the session, and has seen his championship lead brought down by a point to seven heading into the penultimate race of the year on Saturday.
Mike Halder, who retains an outside chance of the title after losing ground at the Sachsenring last time out, was third quickest at the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R and shares row two with the Audi of Max Hesse, who was the quickest of the rookie drivers.
Less than a tenth of a second behind on row three sit Benjamin Leuchter’s Volkswagen and the Cupra of Pascal Eberle, with the top eight completed by Luke Wankmüller’s Opel and the Audi of Niels Langeveld; the latter going into the weekend 14 points off top spot.
Whilst Langeveld will have work to do in the opening race, he will benefit from an improved grid position in the second race of the weekend thanks to the reverse grid regulations that see the top ten on the times flipped.
A personal best for Jussi Kuusiniemi – who has yet to finish in the top twelve this season – saw him qualify in an impressive ninth, with Oliver Holdener, Antti Burri and Lukas Neidertscheider completing the top twelve.
Halder had earlier set the pace during the opening phase of qualifying ahead of Langeveld and Eberle, although the session would be a brought to a premature conclusion when the red flag was thrown with less than two minutes to run.
Amongst those to lose out were Team Engstler’s Theo Coicaud in 14th, FP2 pace-setter Justin Häußermann in 15th and Sachsenring podium finisher Michelle Halder, who will start down in 21st.