Despite the large field of 37 cars, the start and first lap were extremely orderly, with the two men on the front row, Niels Langeveld (Audi) and Pascal Eberle (SEAT) getting passed by Moritz Oestreich (Honda) and Kris Richard (Honda). Luca Engstler (Volkswagen) was fifth, while the championship leader Josh Files (Target Honda) took P6 on lap 2, despite starting from the seventh row. The race’s first victim was Sheldon van der Linde (Audi), who retired in the pits on lap 2 with a technical problem.
On lap 5, Simon Larsson (Audi) hit the barriers at the chicane, prompting the deployment of the Safety Car. At the restart, things stayed pretty much the same, with Engstler moving up to 4th. Steve Kirsch (Honda) passed Files for 6th, but when he tried to attack Langeveld there was a slight contact and the Honda went off-track and rejoined in P13. On lap 14, it was Files who went straight on after some rubbing with Langeveld, losing six positions. Shortly afterwards, Langeveld was passed by Florian Thoma (Volkswagen) and Tim Zimmermann (Audi) who moved up to 4th and 5th.
The race ended in drama, as at the beginning of last lap the engine of Richard’s Honda, that had been chasing the leader Oestreich for the entire race, blew at the beginning of the straight and caught fire. Oestreich therefore won under yellow flags, preceding Eberle, Engstler, Thoma, Zimmermann and Langeveld with Files finishing tenth.
Files maintains the leadership in the standings with 166 points; Thoma has climbed to second, one point ahead of van der Linde, but with a gap of 68 from the leader.
The second race will start tomorrow at 10:15.
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