Mike Halder, driving a Honda Civic, won the opening race of the 2019 TCR Germany season at Oschersleben, beating the two Hyundai i30 N cars of Max Hesse and reigning champion Harald Proczyk.
Pole-sitter Hesse made a good start to the thirty-minute race and led Halder into Turn 1, ahead of Dominik Fugel’s Honda and Proczyk. Fugel was later judged to have jumped the start and was given a drive-through penalty that dropped him to sixteenth. On Lap 2, the Volkswagen Golf of Mitchell Cheah went off through the gravel and collided with the barrier, which brought out the safety car for a brief intervention.
When the race restarted, Halder was right behind race leader Hesse and the Honda driver’s intentions were clear. Sure enough, Halder took the lead at the end of Lap 4 when he dived up the inside of Hesse and so had the line for the sprint up the start/finish straight. Bradley Burns, meanwhile, had started from twelfth on the grid but thanks to a great start had climbed to seventh and the Honda was battling with Theo Coicaud’s Hyundai for sixth place in the early part of the race. There was contact between the pair on Lap 6 and Burns succeeded in passing on Lap 9. Thanks to Fugel’s penalty, Burns would go on to finish fifth and so claim the trophy for the best Rookie driver.
Like Burns, Antti Buri had made a good start and the Finn had improved from eighth on the grid to sixth by Lap 4. For a while, Buri was caught up in the battle between Burns and Coicaud, but the Audi pulled clear and Buri would eventually finish fourth. With Burns fifth and Coicaud sixth, the top ten was rounded off by Lukas Niedertscheider, Jan Seyffert, Steve Kirsch and René Kircher.
The final ten minutes or so were fairly processional with no major changes in position. Fugel passed Julien Apothéloz for thirteenth place on Lap 16 and then overtook Sebastian Steibel’s Volkswagen to finish in twelfth place.
Halder’s win means he has a three-point lead over Hesse in the Drivers’ championship, with Proczyk a further three points adrift.
Race 2 takes place on Sunday at 11.35 CET, with Guido Naumann (Team Engstler Hyundai) and Michelle Halder (Profi-car Team Honda) sharing the front row on the top-ten reverse grid; lice streaming at www.tcr-series.tv.
1. Mike Halder (Profi-car Team, Honda Civic FK7), 20 laps
2. Max Hesse (Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 1.925
3. Harald Proczyk (HP Racing International, Hyundai i30 N), 8.070
4. Antti Buri (LMS Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 9.703
5. Bradley Burns (Pyro Motorsport, Honda Civic FK7), 11.405
World Sporting Consulting LTD 22 Eastcheap, 2nd Floor London EC3M 1EU - United Kingdom