Photo: TCR Europe

Luca Engstler confident of “doing something big” despite lowly grid position

Team Engstler Hyundai driver Luca Engstler believes a strong result is still possible from the TCR Europe series finale weekend at Monza, despite only qualifying 17th for both races.

The German failed to find a tow in Q1, leaving him down on overall straight-line speed in his Hyundai i30 N TCR and out of the top 12 which cost him a place in the second segment.

“If you don’t catch a proper tow in Monza, then you don’t really stand a chance, and that is what happened to us in qualifying really,” Engstler told TouringCarTimes.

“Everyone who saw qualifying could see that we were just not on the lucky side. But that’s motorsport and now we are already focused on the race.”

Engstler was one of the quickest in Friday practice, finishing second in FP1 and topping FP2. And despite his lowly grid position, the Hyundai driver is confident the pace remains for a charge up the order in the races.

“It’s the last race of the season, P17 looks like we will have a lot of fun in the race and that is what we want. I am really looking forward to the race,” Engstler added.

“We showed yesterday that we are strong, P2 and P1 in practice. We are the fastest car out there and that’s what I keep for myself.

“We are changing the set-up a bit and we will be fine. The car felt really good and everything is so close together, so if you don’t have the tow, if you’re off by two or three tenths, then you are not there.”

Although Engstler says he is ready to fight through the field, the German says he must be level-headed to avoid damaging the car unnecessarily.

“I think I could do something big today. If we get a slipstream of 16 cars then it shouldn’t be too bad! Then after that, we will see. Everybody will go crazy as it’s the last round of the season but I want to keep the car in one piece”