Max Hesse claimed his maiden victory in TCR Germany, as he emerged as the winner of a thrilling Race 1 at Zandvoort after starting from sixth on the grid. The reigning champion Harald Proczyk finished third, behind Mike Halder and closed within five points from Antti Buri in the standings.
Julien Apothéloz was stripped of his seventh place on the grid because of a ride height infringement and so started from 10th. Théo Coicaud and Mitchell Cheah, who had qualified sixth and 11th, were dropped to the back of the grid after they both received the third warning of the season.
At the start, Dominik Fugel sprinted from the pole, while Mike Halder moved into second after starting from fourth and Proczyk passed Bradley Burns for third. During the first lap Mitchell Cheah crashed at T10 after making contact with Michelle Halder; he limped back to the pits, but the race was red flagged for allowing the barriers to be repaired.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, the safety car led the field back on track for one lap and when racing resumed, Fugel led from Halder, Proczyk, Burns and Buri. On lap 4, Proczyk overtook Halder for second, while Hesse advanced from eighth to fifth as he overtook Buri, Burns and Lance D. Arnold in a single move. On lap 6, Proczyk dived to the inside of Fugel at T1, they made contact and Proczyk took the lead, while Fugel lost momentum and dropped to fourth behind Halder and Hesse. However, the race control ordered Proczyk to swap positions with Fugel and so he dropped to fourth, while Halder took the lead from Hesse and Fugel.
On lap 12, Hesse was able to pass Halder who reacted, pushed the rival’s car wide and retook the lead; as he realized that this might result in a penalty, Halder handed command back to Hesse; Proczyk benefitted from the commotion and passed Fugel to finish third.
Race 2 takes place Sunday at 16:05 CET, with the Hyundai of Arnold and the Honda od Michelle Halder sharing the front row of the top-ten reverse grid; live streaming at www.tcr-series.tv.
1. Max Hesse (Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 14 laps
2. Mike Halder (Profi-Car, Honda Civic FK7), 2.081
3. Harald Proczyk (HP Racing International, Hyundai i30 N), 3.679
4. Dominik Fugel (Profi-Car, Honda Civic FK7), 4.123
5. Antti Buri (LMS Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 4.840
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