Photo: TCR Malaysia

Luca Engstler and Nicolas Gruber claim Sepang season opener wins

Team Engstler claimed both victories of the TCR Malaysia championship season opener at Sepang International Circuit. Luca Engstler won from pole in the first race and team-mate Nicolas Gruber claimed the honours in the second race.

Engstler headed the eight-car field from lights to flag in the first race, winning by four seconds ahead of Brutalfish Racing Team driver Dan Lloyd.

The Viper Niza Racing duo of Gilbert Ang and Freddie Ang claimed positions three and four, 12 and 16 seconds from race winner Engstler respectively.

The second race saw Teamwork Huff Motorsport driver Yang Xi starting from the reversed grid pole position but fell down the order to finish sixth.

Instead it was Hyundai driver Gruber who made his way into the lead from second position on the grid to win the race by just over a second ahead of Honda driver Lloyd.

The second place finish for Lloyd means that he heads the championship after the first round.

Race one winner Engstler started eighth in the second race and started to make progress up through the field. But the Team Engstler driver hit trouble toward the end of the race and dropped down to finish seventh.

Cupra TCR driver Ang claimed the final podium spot ahead of Team Engstler driver Declan Fraser in fourth position, 17 seconds from race winner Gruber.

The second TCR Malaysia round is held at the Sepang circuit on February 14-16.