TCR Germany: Files’ winning start

TCR Germany: Files’ winning start

29 April 2017

The 2017 TCR Germany season began in much the same way as 2016 ended, with Josh Files victorious in a Target Competition Honda Civic TCR. An incident in Qualifying involving several cars meant the Stewards had been forced to cancel Q2 and so the reigning TCR Germany champion started from fourth on the grid for the thirty-minute race. A great start meant the English driver was second going into Turn 1 behind his teammate, pole-sitter Kris Richard. By the start of lap 2, Files had snatched the lead with Steve Kirsch having taken second place in another Honda and the Audi of Sheldon van der Linde up to third ahead of Richard.
Two incidents within moments of each other on lap 5 then brought out the Safety Car for the first time, with contact between Simon Reicher’s Audi RS 3 LMS and the SEAT León of Ronny Jost leaving the SEAT with broken rear suspension that took several laps to recover. Files controlled the restart beautifully and led Kirsch by nearly a second, but the Safety Car was again deployed when the Audi of Robin Brezina and Moritz Oestreich in a Honda made contact in Turn 1 within seconds of the restart.
This time, Files didn’t get the jump on Kirsch when racing resumed and for a while it seemed we were in for a battle between the pair. Frustratingly for Kirsch, another incident – between the two Audi cars of Antti Buri and Sven Markert on lap 14 – again brought out the Safety Car and the clock had run down by the time the race could restart, which meant one last lap in which to dash for the line. Kirsch wasn’t close enough to benefit and so Files got his title defence off to the best possible start by winning the opening round. Kirsch was second, van der Linde third, Richard fourth and fifth-placed Jürgen Schmarl made it three Target Competition Honda cars in the top five. Pascal Eberle, Tim Zimmerman, Max Hofer, Tom Lautenschlager and Florian Thoma filled the remainder of the top ten places, with Lautenschlager grabbing ninth place from Thoma on that last frantic lap.
Race 2 at Oschersleben is scheduled to start on Sunday afternoon at 14.45.


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