Luca Engstler claims pole for TCR Germany Race 1 at Hockenheim
Luca Engstler claimed pole position for the first race of the penultimate TCR Germany round of the season at Hockenheim.
The Team Engstler Hyundai driver posted a lap-time of 1:47.313 to end up just under four-tenths of a second quicker than the NordPass Hyundai i30 N TCR of Jonas Karklys, while Engstler’s main title rival Dominik Fugel could only manage fifth.
Fugel, fresh from a double victory on home turf at the Sachsenring, had set the early pace in his Team Fugel Civic Type-R, setting a time of 1:48.523.
Brother Marcel Fugel, who eventually ended up a lowly 11th in the second of the Team Fugel Hondas, was Dominik’s nearest challenger before Engstler produced his best lap-time shortly before a brief red flag.
Upon the restart, nobody went quicker than Engstler, but there were several improvements behind as Karklys went second fastest and Robin Jahr jumped up to third.
The raft of improvements bundled the Fugels so far down the order, they faced the real prospect of not making the top ten, forcing all cars except for Karklys to go out again in the closing stages, with Engstler moving the needle further with a lap-time of 1:47.313.
Engstler’s team-mate Martin Andersen was one such driver, having been third before the red flag, but 13th after the restart. The Dane quickly got back up to speed and put in the third quickest time, ahead of Jahr’s similar Hyundai.
Dominik Fugel then went fifth quickest, some two-tenths ahead of newcomer Rubén Gil Fernández’s RC2 Junior Team Cupra León Competición.
Starting seventh will be Nico Gruber, who finished just ahead of Eric Scalvini’s Wimmer Werk Motorsport Cupra.
Completing the top ten was Szymon Ladniak, making his first start for Halder Motorsport in a Honda Civic Type-R TCR, and René Kircher.
Race 1 is scheduled to take place later today at 12:50 CET.