Photo: ADAC Motorsport

Mike Halder takes comfortable win at Oschersleben

Team Honda ADAC Sachsen’s Mike Halder took victory in Saturday’s Race 1 at Oschersleben, the first round of the 2019 TCR Germany Touring Car Championship, with Team Engstler Hyundai driver Max Hesse second, and HP Racing’s Harald Proczyk in third.

At the start, Hesse took the lead ahead of Halder and his team-mate Dominik Fugel, who was under pressure from Proczyk, who had been demoted to fourth after a transgression in qualifying.

Volkswagen Team Oettinger’s Mitchell Cheah spun off the track on lap three at Turn 6, causing the safety car to be called into action. The race was neutralised for two laps while his car was recovered.

Halder then attacked Hesse for the lead at the last corner on lap five when the race resumed, taking the lead of the race. The Team Honda ADAC Sachsen driver quickly created a gap over Hesse. Further back, Antii Buri, at the wheel of an Audi RS 3 LMS from LMS Racing, attacked Theo Coicaud’s Hyundai, and then got out of shape after colliding with the Team Engstler driver and coming under fire from Bradley Burns’ Pyro Motorsport Honda, but the Finn recovered to overtake Coicaud and take fifth position.

Fugel then received a drive-trough penalty for a jump start, which he completed at the end of lap eight, dropping out of third.

Buri disappeared into the distance as Coicaud attacked Bradley Burns, with the Hyundai overtaking the Honda driver on lap nine, but Burns got back ahead on the main straight a lap later.

The focus then moved to Buri, who was catching Proczyk in third place, but the Finn’s pace dropped with ten minutes left on the clock, with positions remaining stable until the end of the race.

At the chequered flag, Mike Halder became the first winner of the 2019 TCR Germany championship season with Hesse in second and Proczyk completing the podium.

Buri took his Audi to fourth position ,followed by Bradley in fifth, and Coicaud in sixth. HP Racing International’s Lukas Niedertscheider was seventh at the wheel of his Hyundai i30 N TCR, followed by Jan Seyffert in the Opel Astra from Lubner Motorsport.

Steve Kirsch drove the second Astra across the line, finishing ninth for IMC Motorsport, with Rene Kircher, in the Racing One Audi RS 3 LMS completing the top ten.

Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday morning at 11:35 CEST, with Guido Neumann starting on pole position in his Engstler Hyundai.