Eric Scalvini takes opening TCR Germany victory at Hockenheim
Eric Scalvini took a largely comfortable victory in the opening TCR Germany race of the weekend at Hockenheim, leading from start to finish.
The Wimmer Werk Motorsport Cupra driver started from pole position and held a healthy advantage over Team Engstler’s Luca Engstler either side of a safety car intervention.
Engstler finished second, while ADAC Sachsen’s Dominik Fugel completed the podium in third.
Off the line, Scalvini got a superb getaway to hold a comfortable lead into the first corner, as Engstler settled into second as Martin Andersen slipped behind Marcel Fugel to fourth.
Engstler quickly closed the gap to Scalvini midway around the opening tour but the Italian found an extra gear to extends his margin over the Hyundai to more than a second.
That lead grew to over two seconds as Engstler seemingly had no answer for the pace of Scalvini’s Cupra León Competición.
Behind, Fugel began to fall away from Engstler as Andersen was passed by the Honda Civic Type-R TCR of Dominik Fugel at Turn 2 for fourth. The pair ran side-by-side through the hairpin and into Turn five and six, with Fugel assuming the place.
Dominik Fugel then wasted no time in getting past his brother Marcel for fourth.
The effort that Scalvini had put in to build a lead of nearly three seconds was then negated as the safety car was deployed after René Kircher spun at the hairpin and ground to a halt.
That bunched the pack up once more, with Engstler closer to Scalvini at the restart but still unable to mount a serious challenge for the lead.
Indeed, it was Dominik Fugel who looked the most dangerous as racing resumed, with the Honda showing strong pace in third.
Scalvini quickly re-established a margin of over a second within two laps of resumption and was largely untroubled for the remainder of the race.
Engstler was in turn relatively comfortable in second, having diffused Dominik Fugel’s assault after the safety car restart.
Marcel Fugel’s promising race ended with just 10 minutes left to run as the Honda Civic Type-R pulled off exiting Turn 2 with an apparent mechanical problem. That left Andersen with a little respite heading into the closing stages and allowed the Danish driver to come home fourth.
His Team Engstler team-mate Nico Gruber was fifth, ahead of Jonas Karklys and Roland Hertner.
Peter Gross was the best placed Audi in eighth, with Christian Voithofer and Robin Jahr rounding out the top 10.
Next up for TCR Germany is Race 2 qualifying which is scheduled to take place tomorrow at 09:00 CEST. Race 2 itself is scheduled to start at 13:30 CEST.