The opening race of TCR Germany at the Lausitzring resulted in an authoritative victory of Austrian rookie Niko Gruber in one of the Engstler Motorsport-run Hyundai i30 N cars. Gruber took a brilliant start and never looked back, while behind him Mike Halder beat Antti Buri for P2.
At the start, pole sitter Buri hesitated and Gruber sprinted from P3 on the grid to take the lead into Turn 1; behind him and Buri, Mike Halder overtook Jan Seyffert for P3 during the opening lap.
The race become processional until lap 8, when the fight for P10 between Marcel Fugel, Albert Legutko and Michelle Halder resulted in the young Polish locking up its front wheels and ending its race in the gravel trap. The safety car was deployed and circulated for six laps while Legutko’s Honda was towed to a safe position. Michelle Halder, who had started from the back of the grid after losing her seventh position because of an engine change, was under investigation for having possibly punted Legutko off.
When racing resumed, on lap 15, Halder stole P2 from Buri, while Harald Proczyk passed Seyffert for P4. The top positions didn’t change, and the final laps were enlivened by the battle for P10 between Marcel Fugel and Michelle Halder who finished in the order.
Race 2 is scheduled to at 14:40 local time (CEST) and will be streamed live at www.tcr-series.com.
1. Nico Gruber (Hyundai Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 19 laps
2. Mike Halder (Profi-Car Honda, Honda Civic Typer R), 1.028
3. Antti Buri (Hyundai Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 2.541
4. Harald Proczyk (HP Racing International, Hyundai i30 N), 5.335
5. Jan Seyffert (HP Racing International, Hyundai i30 N), 6.354
1. Nico Gruber 43 pts; 2. Antti Buri 37; 3. Mike Halder 36
Picture: ADAC Motorsport
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