TCR Middle East – Engstler wins as Homola gets penalty
13 January 2017
Luca Engstler won the inaugural race of the TCR Middle East Series, while his Liqui Moly Team Engstler teammate and main rival Mat’o Homola spoiled all his chances with a false start that cost him a drive through penalty. It was a great debut for the 16-year old German on his first Touring Car race.
Behind Engstler, Michela Cerruti put in a great show in the Mulsanne Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta. First she stole second place from Filip Sládecka with a great overtaking manoeuvre, then she managed to resist the return of Brandon Gdovic who finished in third.
James Kaye completed the maiden race of the CadSpeed Racing Audi RS 3 LMS that was classified fourth, only a few seconds behind the third, and clocked some promising lap times.
The second race will start at 11:00 local time with Kane Astin’s Red Camel SEAT León in pole position on the reverse grid.
Start – Homola moves well before the green light and leads from Ferrara and Engstler
Lap 1 – Homola is under investigation fior a false start; Engstler chases Ferrara for second place; Sládecka and Cerruti follow in fourth and fifth
Lap 2 – Ferrara stops on the track with transmission problems; Gdovic overtakes Goede for fifth
Lap 3 – Homola is given a drive through for jump-start; Engstler inherits the lead; Kaye overtakes Goede for fifth
Lap 4 – Cerruti makes a great move and overtakes Sládecka for second
Lap 6 – Engstler has built a 4-second leading margin, but Cerruti is faster by one tenth per lap
Lap 7 – Gdovic overtakes Sládecka’s for third, Kaye follows them closely in fifth
Lap 9 – Kaye closes in on Sládecka, they make contact and Sládecka spins and then pits
Lap 10 – Gdovic closes in on Cerruti; Homola overtakes Astin for sixth
Lap 12 – Engstler wins with a comfortable margin; Cerruti keeps Gdovic at bay to secure second; Kaye finishes a respectable fourth
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