TCR Malaysia opens second season in January 2020

After following the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the TCR Europe Touring Car Series, the TCR UK Touring Car Championship and the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship in recent seasons, TCR Talk will be following a new series for 2020:

The 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship

After the success of the new inaugural season in 2019, WSC Asia Limited has launched their calendar for the six-rounds that will make up the second season with all events again contested on the iconic Sepang International Circuit.

With most championships around the world enjoying a sabbatical during the winter period, Malaysia proved an ideal venue during the cold northern off-season for teams looking to get a head start on the new year, attracting a number of teams from across Asia and Europe.

2020 TCR Malaysia Championship – Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur
Rounds 1 & 2: 17-18 January 2020
Rounds 3 & 4: 14-16 February 2020
Rounds 5 & 6: 28 February-1 March 2020

Rob Huff made his debut in TCR Malaysia with Teamwork Motorsport.

Last year the fight between 2019 TCR Asia Series champion Luca Engstler and 2012 World Touring Car champion Rob Huff had the world talking during the first weekend of action.

Local hero Mitchell Cheah used the series to prepare himself for his maiden 2019 TCR Germany campaign and his wildcard entry into the WTCR Race of Malaysia which takes place during the middle of December.

Last season Liqui Moly Team Engstler proved the wealth of their international experience to give Luca Engstler the maiden TCR Malaysia title with the German-based team expected to again set the pace for season 2020.

They will also be using the campaign to test a selection of rising young local stars ahead of the various championships they will contest globally in 2020.

Teams such as KCMG and Brutal Fish Racing used the chance to prepare for their 2019 campaigns in Malaysia

WSC Asia Limited’s David Sonenscher explains his hopes for the 2020 season.

“We had a terrific reception to last year’s Championship, with many of the teams committing to the next season, so it was an easy decision to make to reintroduce TCR Malaysia for 2020,” Sonenscher explained.

“Cost-wise too it’s very competitive given that teams can leave their cars at the circuit, so there’s no additional transport costs, there are multiple workshops within the circuit compound and opportunities to test between races, something which proved very popular last season.”

Sonenscher also highlighted the benefits that the state of the art Sepang International Circuit has to offer, especially during a time of year when winter testing in various parts of the world can cause a headache for teams.

Teams and drivers from the 2019 season have already committed to return for 2020. Credit: Hussein Zain

“With a long European winter making testing a challenge, and so many teams using Sepang for their own test programs, it’s an ideal venue to prepare for the coming season under race conditions, something which allowed a number of teams to start their own national campaigns from a strong footing,” Sonenscher explained.

“As a true international circuit, with the option to run in daylight and under lights, Sepang can throw up a number of different testing scenarios – whilst we also saw tropical storms make an appearance for the debut season, so it’s certainly no guarantee that conditions will be the same for each race.”

Championship titles will once again be offered for the outright title, Teams’ Champion, Drivers’ Champion, Cup Drivers’ Champion (Amateur drivers) and Asian Drivers’ Champions with points accumulated through both qualifying and each of the 30-minute races.

Teams interested in being involved in the 2020 TCR Malaysia Championship should make contact with WSC Asia Limited based in Kuala Lumpur via; info@asia.tcr-series.com
or contact Rikki Dy-Liacco via rikki@motorsportasia.com (+603 7957 9077)

The race one start for the 2019 TCR Malaysia Touring Championship.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2020 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of Match Chong unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Matt Howson – 2019 TCR Japan Champion!

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Matt Howson, who is competing in the 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series for KCMG Honda…

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series continued its maiden season of competition, with the final weekend of action taking place at Suzuka, as part of the FIA WTCR Weekend. Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Matt’s performance at the Suzuka International Circuit, where race one and race two took place on Saturday…

Race One at Suzuka…

Credit: TCR Japan

Yu Kanamaru and Matthew Howson made a 1-2 for Honda in TCR Japan’s first race at Suzuka. By clinching his fourth victory of the season, Kanamaru regained the lead in the overall standings, while the second place meant that Howson was crowned champion in the Saturday Series.

Their main competitor, Takeshi Matsumoto did not finish after he was involved in a collision with fellow Volkswagen driver Shogo Mitsuyama three laps before the end.

At the start, pole sitter Kanamaru kept Howson at bay into turn one, then Shuji Maejima passed Matsumoto for third, however during the first lap, the Alfa driver lost two places to Matsumoto and Mitsuyama.

At the end of lap four, Masayuki Ueda’s Audi went off before the chicane and the safety car was deployed. When racing resumed, with five minutes to go, Kanamaru kept his lead from Howson, Matsumoto, Mitsuyama, Maejima and ‘Hirobon’.

Positions didn’t change until lap nine when the top four had a close fight that ended with the two Volkswagen Golf cars of Matsumoto and Mitsuyama making contact. They both retired, while Hirobon benefited from the situation and overtook Maejima for P3. However, the latter was able to retake the position and finished third behind Kanamau and Howson.

Race Two at Suzuka

Credit: TCR Japan

Matthew Howson won the TCR Japan’s second race in Suzuka and in the process the overall TCR Japan title as Takeshi Matsumoto secured the Sunday series title.

The key moment of the race was the incident between Yu Kanamaru and Shuji Maejima that eliminated the former who was leading the race and the championship and resulted in a penalty for the second who dropped out of the points.

At the start, Kanamaru and Howson pipped pole-sitter Matsumoto and led the field into the first turn. During the first lap, Maejima overtook Hirobon for fourth, then Mitsuyama spun, Taniguchi spun behind him and Yoshiki crashed into Taniguchi’s car. The safety car was deployed by the second lap.

The race restarted on lap five with Maejima overtaking Matsumoto for third, however, as Jun Sato spun off and his car remained stranded in the gravel trap, the safety car was deployed again for another two laps.

Racing resumed for three final laps where Maejima overtook Howson for second at the end of the straight and after a couple of laps tried to pass Kanamaru for the lead. They made contact, Kanamaru spun off and later rejoined.

There were no further changes as Maejima crossed the line in first position, but he was given a 30-second penalty for the incident and dropped to eleventh in the final standings. Howson inherited the victory, while Matsumoto and Hirobon were promoted to second and third.

Howson reflects on Suzuka & his TCR Japan season

Credit: TCR Japan

The Suzuka International Circuit was the location for the finale of the TCR Japan season and part of a very busy weekend that saw KCMG working with cars also in WTCR action. Howson closed off a successful season despite overcoming a late-season slump due to other competitors using the Honda as a target.

With TCR Japan one of two series to make its debut this year as part of the TCR Global Family, the Asian series can be hailed as a success. Howson has been part of a 20 car field all year in a country that has embraced the exciting spectacle of TCR and already has good prospects for next year.

The British driver hailed his success and also spoke more about his weekend during the championship finale.

“The final round of TCR Japan at Suzuka turned out to be one of the toughest yet most successful of the season,” explained Howson.

“Both races were door-banging dogfights and full of safety cars, so to come away with a second and a victory to seal the drivers’ title and help Honda win the manufacturers’ is just amazing. It’s also a testament to KCMG who improved the car to its best for this tough battle.”

“I’d like to extend huge thanks to my whole team, my engineers Adam and Matteo, JAS Motorsport, Honda and of course Paul Ip for having the vision to create this whole dream. After 11 years with KCMG, it’s amazing to win a championship together. We’ll enjoy this for a long time!”

TCR Talk sends its thanks to Matt Howson for being able to report on his season in the 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series and we look forward to his plans for 2020 being revealed.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd rounds off TCR China campaign in style

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Daniel’s performance at Zhouzhou International Circuit in China, location for the Finale of the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Race One at Zhouzhou…

Credit: TCR China

Luca Engstler carried on his top form from Ningbo as he won the first race of the series’ finale at Zhouzhou International Circuit. After he dominated the previous event with pole position and two race victories, the young German was again the fastest in Qualifying and converted the pole position into his third consecutive win.

Daniel Lloyd was classified second and cut six points off Huang Chu Han’s leading margin in the standings. However, Huang – who finished fifth in the first race – still had an advantage of fourteen points with twenty on offer in the last race of the year.

On a damp track, Engstler took the lead from the start ahead of the MacPro trio of Martin Xie, Lloyd, André Couto, Zhang Zhen Dong’s MG and Huang. Lloyd overtook Xie on lap 3 and tried to close the gap to Engstler, but the Hyundai driver managed to keep his advantage stable around three seconds.

In lap 5, Couto passed Xie for P3 and Huang overtook Zheng for P5. For a few laps the MG driver kept on chasing Huang’s Audi, but in the second part of the race, his pace faded and eventually, he pitted on the penultimate lap. Engstler won from Lloyd, Couto, Xie, Huang and Kenneth Look.

Race Two at Zhouzhou

Credit: TCR China

Daniel Lloyd won a very wet second race in TCR China’s finale at Zhouzhou International Circuit.

However, this was not enough for the young Englishman to clinch the title, because his rival Huang Chu Han recovered after a spin to finish the race in sixth position and so retained a four-point lead in the final standings.

At the start, André Couto took the lead from Lloyd and Martin Xie, but after a few turns, he spun and dropped to fourth behind Engstler. During the first lap, Couto tried to regain third position but t-boned Engstler’s car that spun and rejoined in fifth position, while Couto’s remained stranded in the middle of the track and the safety car was deployed.

When racing resumed, Lloyd increased his lead, while Xie defended the second place from Huang, Look and Engstler. In lap 8, Engstler overtook Look for P4, while Huang spun, dropping from third to eighth.

After a brief fight, Engstler passed Xie to move into P2 and then tried to close the gap to Lloyd, but the latter had already built a huge margin, while Xie and Look continued cruising in third and fourth positions.

During the final laps, Huang was able to pass both Alex Liu and James Wong to finish sixth behind the MG of Zhang Zhen Dong, and so he secured the TCR China title.

Lloyd reflects on Zhouzhou & his TCR China season

Credit: TCR China

With the Zhouzhou International Circuit the location for the finale of the TCR China season, Lloyd did everything in his power to take the fight to title rival and eventual champion Huang Chu Han.

It can be argued that Lloyd has been the dominant force in the series this year, however, retirements and disqualifications put paid to his hopes of a second TCR title. Despite this, Lloyd reflected back on his season in TCR China, where he put on some very strong performances.

“It was a really good weekend to end the season on. We knew coming into the weekend that the championship was just that bit out of reach, but we gave it our all, and we came so very close, explained Lloyd.

“It was a real shame to miss out on the title. Unfortunately, with only 10 rounds in the series, the two non-finishes we picked up earlier in the season killed our chances. Without those two incidents, we would have won the championship by a country mile. It’s frustrating as there was nothing I could have done differently to change them, but that’s motorsport.”

Lloyd added further to his thoughts regarding the weekend and his season in TCR China.

“The car was strong all weekend, as it has been all season. The JAS Motorsport guys have given us the tools to do a great job this season, and it’s been a brilliant experience racing with the Dongfeng Honda crew.”

“They are a great bunch and have worked really hard all year. I’m delighted to have been able to help them claim the Manufacturers title. They really deserve all of the glory. It’s been a strong end to a great season for me. I’m excited to see what 2020 brings.”

Credit: TCR China

TCR Talk sends its thanks to Daniel Lloyd for being able to report on his season in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship and we look forward to his plans for 2020 being revealed.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

FIA Motorsport Games: Gavrilov Takes Touring Car Gold in Rome

The Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi played host to the first-ever running of the FIA Motorsport Games, which saw six different types of Motorsport take place with the aim of allowing different countries to go head to head for the prize of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.

Amongst these different types of Motorsport disciplines was the Touring Car Cup, which was run to TCR regulations and included the current Balance of Performance that is used globally.

You can find out all the details regarding the format of the Touring Car Cup in my previous article that relates to how the event takes place and how the Drivers/Nations score to win their medals here.

Qualifying One – Saturday Touring Car Cup grid

Luca Engstler / Team Germany. Credit: FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Organisation

Overnight rain ensured a wet start to the day’s first track action. But despite the surface appearing to dry over the course of the half-hour session, it was Luca Engstler’s early time of 1m56.941s – 16s shy of yesterday’s dry pace – that earned Germany provisional pole.

However, a subsequent engine change would drop the Hyundai to the back of the grid for race one and hand Russia’s Klim Gavrilov pole position. The Audi started alongside Mato Homola’s Hyundai after both drivers also set their fastest times early in the session.

A post-practice engine change also ensured Ka To Jim’s fourth quickest time counted for nothing. Instead, the United Kingdom’s Rory Butcher would start third, two places ahead of where he qualified, while the Netherlands’ Tom Coronel lines up alongside the Scottish driver.

John Filippi’s Team France Cupra joined Audi, Hyundai, MG and Honda in the top-five, while Gilles Magnus (Belgium) started sixth. Kouril Jr of the Czech Republic, Zviedris for Team Latvia, Norbert Kiss from Team Hungary and Enrico Bettera from Team Italy completed the top ten places on the grid.

Qualifying Two – Sunday Touring Car Cup grid

Gilles Magnus / Team Belgium. Credit: FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Organisation

Russia came within less than a minute of claiming two pole positions before Gilles Magnus’ late flyer handed Team Belgium top spot for tomorrow’s Touring Car Cup race.

Klim Gavrilov spent much of the 30-minute session on top of the pile after twice lowering the provisional pole time. However, it was Magnus – who’d remained his main rival throughout – that ultimately topped the times courtesy of the fastest time of the weekend: 1m40.235s.

Gavrilov finished 0.495s behind but, with medals decided on the basis of points scored in both races, will be content with a second front row start.

Tom Coronel added third to his earlier fourth place to also keep the Netherlands firmly in gold medal contention after knocking Slovakia’s Mato Homola down to fourth, while Faine Kahia (New Zealand) and Jessica Backmann (Sweden) saved their best qualifying performances for the second session.

John Filippi of France, Jim Ka To from Team Hong Kong, Enrico Bettera for Italy and Rory Butcher for Team UK completed the top ten places on the grid for the second race.

Saturday Touring Car Cup Race

The Saturday Touring Car Cup Race. Credit: FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Organisation

Klim Gavrilov made the perfect start to Team Russia’s Touring Car Cup assault by claiming a comfortable victory and maximum 25 points in Race 1 earlier today.

The regulation lights-to-flag win by five seconds from Mato Homola (Slovakia) was in stark contrast to the battle raging behind where Gilles Magnus’ bold moves helped the Belgian rise from sixth to third.

One of those came at the expense of Rory Butcher whose poor getaway from third dropped the UK’s entry out of contention almost immediately. Instead, and following an early Safety Car period to remove Norway’s stricken Alfa Romeo, it was France’s John Filippi who held the final podium spot ahead of Tom Coronel.

The French and Dutch entries initially ran nose-to-tail before Magnus joined the party by sneaking his Audi down the inside. It wasn’t quite enough to dislodge Coronel at first but when the Belgian attempted to switch back underneath the Honda contact was inevitably made, which sent the Civic sliding wide.

Tom Coronel / Team Netherlands. Credit: FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Organisation

Not that it concerned Magnus who then set his sights on passing Filippi. He was on the Cupra’s tail in no time and shot past at the fast Curva Grande sweeper with just under six minutes remaining.

Filippi spent the final moments fending off Dusan Kouril Jr (Czech Republic) who picked up two places en route to fifth. Faine Kahia (New Zealand) and Jessica Backman (Sweden) also made progress from 11th and 12th to finish ahead of Coronel, who somehow crabbed his way to eighth after the earlier clash with Magnus.

Italy’s Enrico Bettera finished ninth while Jim Ka To battled through from 19th to claim the final point for Hong Kong.

Elsewhere, Luca Engstler’s chances of winning a medal now appear to be over after an engine change prevented the German from taking up his pole position. And with the new unit still not installed before the race began, there was no chance to score even a handful of points.

But there was no denying Gavrilov who has another excellent chance of scoring big points on Sunday when he lines up second behind Magnus.

Indeed, the 30-minute race is worth 30 points to the winner, while points are scored all the way down to 15th.

Sunday Touring Car Cup Race

The Sunday Touring Car Cup Race. Credit: FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Organisation

Klim Gavrilov moved Russia to the top of FIA Motorsport Games’ medal table ahead of the final event after converting his overnight points’ advantage into gold. Race 2 victory for Gilles Magnus helped Belgium claim their second silver medal of this year’s competition while Mato Homola took bronze for Slovakia.

Two Safety Car periods and light drizzle played their part in an entertaining medal showdown at Vallelunga where Magnus’ straightforward lights-to-flag victory left Gavrilov with no choice but to finish second.

He did, but only just.

Klim Gavrilov / Team Russia. Credit: FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Organisation

Startline contact between Enrico Bettera’s stalled Audi and an unsighted Luca Engstler meant just 17 minutes remained once racing began in earnest. Gavrilov, who maintained second at the restart, initially rebuffed Tom Coronel’s numerous advances after the Dutchman passed Homola around the outside at the final corner.

And having successfully seen off the Honda, the Russian was able to establish a two-second advantage as the race ticked towards its conclusion.

Just three minutes remained when a second Safety Car intervention was required to retrieve Team China’s MG, which set-up a breathless one-lap medal dash.

While Magnus initially sprinted clear, Gavrilov was left to contend with a reinvigorated Coronel, Homola and Rory Butcher (United Kingdom), who’d fought his way through from 10th on the grid. Classic tin-top action ensued as Coronel – now aided by Magnus deliberately backing up Gavrilov – tried every trick in the book to find a way into second.

They continued battling all the way to the chequered flag where Gavrilov finally sealed gold by just 0.1s.

Rory Butcher / Team UK. Credit: FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Organisation

Butcher was a similar margin behind in fourth while Homola’s third and fifth places across the two races helped Slovakia claim their first medal of the championships.

John Filippi capped off a solid weekend with sixth in Race 2 and fourth overall for France after beating a charging Jessica Backman (Sweden) and Lithuania’s Julius Adomavicius.

The 2019 Motorsport Games Touring Car Cup was hailed as a success with Klim Gavrilov/Team Russia securing the Gold Medal ahead of Gilles Magnus/Team Belgium winning the Silver Medal whilst Mat’o Homola/Team Slovakia claimed the Bronze Medal.

The 2019 FIA Motorsport Games Medal Podium. Credit: FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Organisation

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Organisation unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd ready for title showdown at Zhouzhou

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd, who is competing in the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship for the Dongfeng Honda Racing Team…

This weekend is the finale of the 2019 season for TCR China, where the series will race at the brand new facility of Zhouzhou International Circuit that has been completed only a few weeks ago. After a difficult weekend last time out at Ningbo, Lloyd is still in the hunt for the driver’s title, however he has a slim chance against title rival and championship leader Huang Chu Han.

Lloyd reflects on Ningbo…

Credit: David Noels/HME

Daniel Lloyd reflected back on what was an important weekend which offered some hope of reclaiming the Championship lead on Saturday, before events on Sunday changed the outlook of that task.

“A really unfortunate end to what started as a positive weekend. We did a great job in free practice and qualifying and were on the pace all weekend with the aim for Ningbo to close the gap to the championship leaders, and it was almost job done in race one,” explained Lloyd.

“Securing the podium brought us back to just three points off the lead. So to be taken out of race two with another podium on the cards was gutting. I was in a really good position, battling with Engstler and then my team-mate, who was leading the race, lost it on the first corner and collected me. There was nothing I could have done.”

TCR China race one at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain the difficulty of trying to secure 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

“That incident has sadly put our championship hopes pretty much out of reach. We’re twenty points behind now, which is a full race win. There are just two races to go which means something would have to happen to the leaders now for us to be within grasp of claiming the title,” said Lloyd.

“There’s still hope, but it’s a long shot now. The team did a great job this weekend. It’s just really unfortunate how it’s all worked out.”

Lloyds thoughts ahead of the Zhouzhou Finale…

Credit: David Noels/HME

The 27-year-old arrives at this weekend in mathematical championship contention, sitting twenty points shy of the lead.

With four podiums under his belt already this season, Lloyd knows that the title race lies in the hands of his opponent this weekend, however, the Yorkshireman is determined to sign-off his debut TCR China season on a high note.

Credit: David Noels/HME

The Dongfeng MacPro Racing Team driver also carries the hopes of the squad’s title hopes this weekend. Currently second in the standings, the three-car outfit has a 36-point deficit to close in order to claim the Teams title honours in the season finale.

“We’ve had a really good season and been in championship contention all year;” said Lloyd. “The final race at Ningbo dropped us back just that bit too far, unfortunately. Although on paper we could still claim the title, it’s really out of our hands now and down to the leader to lose,” explained Lloyd.

“There’s still a small chance, but it’s a long shot now. We’ve just got to go out there and give it our best shot this weekend. I really hope that we can at least clinch the Teams title. The Dongfeng Racing crew have been brilliant all year. It would be a fitting reward for all of their hard work this season. I’ve really enjoyed my time racing with the team and in the TCR China series. Fingers crossed, we can go out in glory!”

Credit: David Noels/HME

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes to secure his second TCR Title by winning the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Howson prepared for title showdown in Suzuka

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Matt Howson, who is competing in the 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series for KCMG Honda…

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series continued its maiden season of competition, with the fourth weekend of action taking place at Okayama. Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Matt’s performance at the Okayama International Circuit, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Race One at Okayama…

Credit: TCR Japan

Takuro Shinohara claimed his maiden win in the first race of the weekend at Okayama. the win also marked the first victory for Audi in the series, which became the fourth brand this year.

Shinohara made good use of the pole position and took the lead. Shuji Maejima, who was on the front row alongside him made a poor start, which gave Yu Kanamaru the chance to move progress from fifth on the grid into second. Maejima, Matthew Howson and Shogo Mitsuyama entered three abreast into the first turn, resulting in all three drivers clashing and Howson being spun off.

Maejima then overtook Kanamaru for second, but he had to serve a drive-through for the turn one incident and dropped at the back, behind Howson. Mitsuyama was also given a drive-through for the collision after the start later in the race.

Shinohara pulled away, while Kanamru retained second place after holding off the assaults from Hirobon. Hirobon later lost third position to Takeshi Matsumoto who completed the podium behind Shinohara and Kanamaru. Howson and Maejima managed to recover to seventh and eighth places respectively.

In the standings, Kanamaru leads by twelve points over Matsumoto with Mitsuyama in third position, twenty-four points behind. Shinohara is one point behind Mitsuyama with Howson five points behind Shinohara.

Race Two at Okayama…

Credit: TCR Japan

Takuro Shinohara followed up his Saturday race win by taking the Sunday race win, which in turn propelled him on top of the drivers standings.

The Hitotsuyama Racing driver made a poor start from pole position and dropped to fourth, while Shuji Maejima took the lead after he nearly collided with Shogo Mitsuyama at the end of the pit straight. Yu Kanamaru moved into third place, however he was passed by Shinohara during the first lap.

Shinohara passed Mitsuyama on lap two for second place and then began closing the gap to Maejima, overtaking him for the lead on lap three. Matsumoto passed Howson for fifth place on lap three, while Hirobon served a drive-through for jump-start.

Matsumoto moved into fourth place after passing Kanamaru on lap six and then set about trying to pass Mitsuyama for third place. KCMG Gentleman driver and former WTCC racer Yukinori Taniguchi overtook Yoshiki for seventh overall towards the end of the race.

Shinohara controlled the final laps to take his second win with Maejima four seconds behind in second place. Mitsuyama managed to keep Matsumoto at bay to finish third place, while Kanamaru beat Howson for fifth position.

Howson’s thoughts ahead of Suzuka…

Credit: TCR Japan

With only one event left, the title fight is red hot with six drivers covered by twenty-four points. Shinohara leads the standings with Matsumoto one point behind. Kanamaru and Mitsuyama are equal third on points, eleven behind Matsumoto with Maejima lies in fifth position fifteen points behind the leader and nine points ahead of Howson.

With KCMG running three cars this weekend in their WTCR program as Jim Ka To makes a wildcard appearance alongside Tiago Monteiro and Attila Tassi. Howson will be joined by both Yukinori Taniguchi and team boss Paul Ip in the TCR Japan finale. With the car updated with new parts after recent on-track battles, the British driver is ready to fight for the title.

“The season finale is here and at arguably the best circuit – Suzuka. The championship is going down to the wire and we’ve got some exciting new parts for my Honda, so we’re ready for an all-out fight,” explained Howson.

“The weather may be unpredictable so as ever we’ll be prepared for anything. I’m looking forward to a close battle and will race with all my strength.”

TCR Talk will be following Matt Howson as he competes in one of the newest TCR Series that is part of the Global TCR Family.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of KCMG / TCR Japan unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

The 2019 FIA Motorsport Games – Touring Car Cup

In a bold new venture, with the idea of bringing together the best forms of motorsport for all to see, earlier this year the FIA created:

The FIA Motorsport Games

This will new venture takes place at the Vallelunga Circuit near the host city of Rome, over the weekend of 1-3 November 2019 where the following categories will compete:

Touring Car Cup
GT Cup
Digital Cup
Drifting Cup
Formula 4 Cup
Karting Slalom Cup

TCR Talk will be following The Touring Car Cup, which will be run to TCR Regulations with all competitors using homologated TCR Models. The only exception to this will be the MG6 TCR that has been used in TCR China under a special homologation certificate but does not score points. This model is subject to full homologation for this event.

The Vallelunga Circuit. Credit: Racingcircuits.info

The Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi circuit is located 32 km north of Rome, Italy, near Vallelunga of Campagnano and has seen plenty of Tintop action over the past decades since it opened back in 1959.

The 2019 FIA Motorsport Games – Touring Car Cup Entry List

Credit: FIA Motorsport Games

From the names on the entry list, it’s obvious that there is an equal mix of drivers who already have experience of driving TCR machines and those that have competed in other forms of Motorsport. That being said, picking a favourite from this lot will be difficult.

The organisers have already confirmed that the following drivers will be using the same cars that they have already campaigned in a TCR Series during 2019:

Luca Engstler, Klim Gavrilov, Gilles Magnus, Tom Coronel, Enrico Bettera, Zhendong Zhang, Valters Zviedris, Julius Adomavičius, Jessica Bäckman, John Filippi, Dušan Kouril, Mat’o Homola and Ka To Jim already and in most cases, the same teams that have run the cars already will be running the cars as well during this event.

British fans will notice that Team UK is represented by BTCC race winner Rory Butcher and that he will be at the wheel of an MG6 TCR. This will be run by AmD, who have run Butcher in the BTCC for the last two years. Hopefully, it shouldn’t take too long for the team to get used to the TCR machine they have…

If I had to pick a top three for this event, I would go with Engstler, Homola and Magnus, however, I’ll leave the racing to the experts and come Sunday afternoon we’ll know who has won Gold, Silver and Bronze.

The 2019 FIA Motorsport Games Touring Car Cup Format

Credit: TCR Europe / WSC Ltd

The competition will provide entrants with a total of three hours’ track time, split into two 30-minute practice sessions and two Qualifying sessions of the same length. The first Qualifying session will set the grid for race one whilst the second Qualifying session will set the grid for race two.

Race one will last at least 25 minutes + 1 lap, whilst Race two will run for at least 30 minutes + 1 lap. The top ten finishers from Race one will score points, with Race one the top fifteen finishers in Race two scoring points.

Points will be awarded to the top ten drivers in race one according to the following scale:
25 – 18 – 15 – 12 – 10 – 8 – 6 – 4 – 2 – 1.

Points will be awarded to the top fifteen drivers in race two according to the following scale:
30 – 22 – 16 – 13 – 11 – 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1.

The final winner will be determined as the driver who scores the most points from the two races.

Eight different brands will be represented on the grid, including Alfa Romeo, Audi, CUPRA, Honda, Hyundai, MG, Peugeot and Volkswagen.

The worldwide success of the TCR platform makes Touring Car Cup an accessible competition for drivers from all over the globe, allowing them to represent their country during this revolutionary motorsport initiative, while a wide variety of available brands will guarantee a strong and diverse entry.

All competing cars must comply with TCR Technical Regulations and each is approved by the FIA. Balance of Performance (BoP) will be published by the FIA in agreement with WSC.

Where can I watch it?

Livestreaming and Live Timing can be found at the link at the bottom of this section, with the action getting underway on Friday with two Free Practice sessions

Both Qualifying sessions will take place Saturday Morning, with Race one taking place on Saturday afternoon. Race Two will take place on Sunday Afternoon. Times to be confirmed.

FIA Motorsport Games – Touring Car Cup

Credit: TCR Europe / WSC Ltd

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of TCR Europe / WSC Ltd unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk Reviews: TC America at Road America

Vincent Dominates TCR Race 1 Win At Road America; Haldeman Takes Exciting TCA Win

Under sprinkling skies, Michael McCann Jr. and the #3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS lead the field to green, but as the field got to turn 5 the slippery tarmac would hurt the leader as he slid wide, falling from first to last, handing the lead to Nate Vincent in the #72 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI. Vincent would never look back and go on to cruise to the TCR victory. “It was tricky driving in the rain, just tip-toeing around. This was my first time racing here at Road America, so having it in the rain was something! The team did a great job of setting up the car to handle the wet conditions and that was really the trick to bringing it home,” said Vincent.

As the field reached Canada Corner, Victor Gonzalez in the #99 VGMC Honda Civic Type R then fell victim to the rain and would spin out of third place, falling down the order. Championship leader Michael Hurczyn and the #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI would slide into second place, where he would finish. Hurczyn would claim the race’s fastest lap, giving him pole for Sunday’s race 2. Gonzalez would fight his way back through the field and finish third.

James Walker in the #34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietta would come home fourth with Christian Cole and the #3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS claiming the TCR Cup win, finishing fifth overall.

With 28 minutes remaining, Mark Pombo and the #59 MINI Team JCW MINI Cooper would pass Chris Haldeman in the #69 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si for the lead. Haldeman would then go wide defending at turn 3 and go off track, falling to eighth in the TCA class.

As the clock ticked down to the 21 minute mark, Nate Norenberg in the #60 MINI Team JCW MINI Cooper would go off at The Kink, hitting the barrier but would get the car back to pitlane, keeping a full course caution from falling. Nick Wittmer and the #91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ sT would inherit second place momentarily as Pombo then had an off from the lead, putting Wittmer in first with Tomas Mejia in the #69 MINI Team JCW MINI Cooper landing in second. While that was going on, Haldeman would fight his way back to third place and start his pursuit for second.

With 11 minutes left on the clock, Haldeman’s attack would see him overtake Mejia for second going into turn 3. Mejia would come home third with Taylor Hagler and the #77 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si fourth. Stephen Jeu would round out the top five in the #02 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si.

On the last lap, Haldeman’s charge would not stop and would overtake Wittmer for the lead, claiming his first win of the season. “I started from pole and pretty much immediately put myself in last, so I had to charge back through the field. Luckily it ended with me still taking the win!” said Haldeman.


Gonzalez Conquers Slippery Road America to Claim TCR Victory; Mat Pombo Takes Wet and Wild TCA Win

After a slight delay due to rainy conditions, Race 2 for the TCR and TCA classes got underway with championship leader Michael Hurczyn leading the field to green in the #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI after two laps behind the safety car to test conditions.

Heading into turn 5 at the start, Michael McCann Jr and the #3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS went wide, falling to the back of the field from fifth position. At the same time, Nick Wittmer in the #91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS would shoot past Tomas Mejia’s #62 MINI Team JCW for the lead in TCA as Mejia would fall to third in class as Tyler Maxson and the #74 Copeland Motorsports Mazda Global MX5 Cup would slot into second position. Maxson would then have a moment and fall to fifth position in class seeing Chris Haldeman and the #69 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si inherit second in the TCA class.

At the start of lap two, leader Michael Hurczyn would go off track at the fast turn 1, handing the lead to Victor Gonzalez and the #99 VGMC Honda Civic Type R TCR. Hurczyn would continue, landing in fourth position. Gonzalez would pull out an eleven second lead over Nate Vincent’s #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI in second and James Walker’s #34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietta in third. Gonzalez would control the rest of the race, and go on to claim his second win of the season. “I’m so happy and I know everybody back home is watching the race and are happy too. I have to thank the team and HPD Honda for giving us such a great car, I’m looking forward to one more in Las Vegas!” said Gonzalez.

Two laps later Hurczyn would get past Walker for third and set off for his teammate in second position.

Late in the race Hurczyn would get past Vincent with the FCP Euro teammates finishing second and third overall, with Walker coming home fourth.

With 24 minutes remaining, Haldeman would get past Wittmer for the TCA lead at turn 14. Two minutes later, TCA championship Tyler Maxson would face engine issues and pull into the pits. Maxson would continue a few laps later in the twelfth position, one lap down.

At the 20 minute mark, Haldeman would then have a moment of his own, falling to third, giving Wittmer the class lead and promoting Mat Pombo and the #61 MINI Team JCW MINI Cooper to second.

With 15 minutes remaining, Mat Pombo would power past Wittmer for the TCA class lead with the top three in class running nose to tail. Three minutes later Wittmer would get past Pombo for the lead at the outside of turn 1 with less than a second separating the three TCA class leaders.

Four laps later, Pombo would make a move on the outside of turn 7 around Wittmer and take the class lead with under six minutes remaining in the race. Haldeman would follow Pombo through, demoting Wittmer to third in two corners. On the next lap, Haldeman would go wide at turn 5, giving second place back to Wittmer with only two laps remaining.

On the final lap, Wittmer would sneak past Pombo for the lead at Canada Corner, but Pombo would fall right behind the #91 at turn 14, then win the drag race up the front straight to claim the class victory by a mere one-tenth of a second. “It was a hard fight the whole time and everyone was respectful. On the last lap, I had to lift a little, but luckily Wittmer made a little mistake out of 14, so I was able to go left and drag race up the straight to take the win. It was a great race with Nick [Wittmer] and [Chris} Haldeman. Very fun,” said Pombo.

Taylor Hagler and the #77 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si would come home fourth with Stephen Jeu and the #02 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si fifth in class.

Bryan Putt and the #15 Bsport Racing Audi RS3 LMS would claim the TCR Cup win, finishing fifth overall.

TC America’s TCR and TCA classes will next be in action for the final two rounds of the 2019 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway October 18th – 20th.

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PROVISIONAL RESULTS – PDF Link

TCR Talk Review: 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship – Hockenheim

After following the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the TCR Europe Touring Car Series and the TCR UK Touring Car Championship in recent seasons, TCR Talk will be following a new series for 2019:

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of all the action that took place at Hockenheim, from Qualifying all the way through to Race One on Saturday and Race Two on Sunday…

Proczyk tops a red-flagged Qualifying at Hockenheim

Harald Proczyk. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship’s reigning champion Harald Proczyk started from pole position in race one at Hockenheim.

After posting the fastest lap in Q1, the Austrian driver encored the effort in Q2, beating guest driver Andreas Bäckman by two tenths just before the session was red-flagged with one minute left on the clock when Jessica Bäckman pulled up with a technical issue.

In Q1, five different drivers visited the top of the timesheet. Dominic Fugel was the first one to complete a lap under the one minute fifty mark with a time of 1:49.273. Pascal Eberle ousted him with a lap of 1:49.062, before Fugel improved again to 1:48.602, then Proczyk was clocked fastest at 1:48.441.

Pascal Eberle. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Max Hesse moved ahead posting a 1:47.696 that he immediately improved to 1:47.683, but Proczyk had the last word with a lap of 1:47.390. Lukas Niedertscheider and Théo Coicaud were placed in third and fourth respectively, completing a Hyundai 1-2-3-4; they were followed by Bradley Burns’ Honda in fifth position.

In Q2, Andreas Bäckman posted a provisional fastest lap of 1:47.669, but Proczyk went faster with an effort of 1:47.461. Coicaud and Hesse made another Hyundai quartet on top of the field while it was Mike Halder who qualified in fifth position with the fastest of the Honda cars.

Fugel and Burns qualified tenth and ninth in the session, securing the front row spots on the reverse grid for Sunday’s race. After the session, Bradley Burns times were disallowed by the serie organisers and the British driver withdrew from the event.

Harald Proczyk heads a Hyundai 1-2-3 at Hockenheim

Harald Proczyk. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Harald Proczyk took a lights-to-flag victory in race one at the Hockenheimring, finishing ahead of Max Hesse and Théo Coicaud to complete an all-Hyundai podium.

Pole-sitter Proczyk made a superb start and led going into turn one, with Mike Halder making up three positions by passing Hesse, Coicaud and guest driver Andreas Bäckman to lie in second position. Hesse and Coicaud immediately began battling for third place, while the CUPRA of Julien Apothéloz made contact with another car and was forced to pit for repairs.

On Lap two, Coicaud forced Halder to run wide and so Coicaud, Hesse and Bäckman all moved up a place as a result and Halder dropped back to fifth position. On the next lap, the Audi RS 3 LMS of championship leader Antti Buri made contact with Lukas Niedertscheider’s Hyundai while the pair were fighting for seventh place, although the battle would rage for much of the race.

Lap four saw the Honda Civic FK2 of Marcel Fugel suffer steering failure and the car ended up in the barrier at turn seventeen, which brought out the safety car. When the race resumed on lap nine, Mike Halder wasted no time in attacking Andreas Bäckman and he moved up to fourth place. Andreas then ran wide, dropping three places and allowing Dominik Fugel, Buri and Niedertscheider to move ahead.

Andreas Bäckman. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

On lap ten, Michelle Halder ran wide as she locked up her brakes at the hairpin, while the following lap saw second place change hands when Hesse passed Coicaud. The twelfth lap then delivered the race’s most dramatic incident, when Niedertscheider made a move on Buri and Andreas Bäckman moved between the pair to run three abreast.

Bäckman then went straight on after possible contact, while an impossibly late-braking move from Niedertscheider meant he collided with Buri’s car and the pair went off. Buri dropped to tenth place but continued, while Niedertscheider’s car was stranded with broken steering.

The safety car was deployed again, but with less than four minutes of the thirty-minute race remaining, Niedertscheider’s car couldn’t be recovered in time and so the race finished behind the safety car. Proczyk, Hesse and Coicaud made it an all-Hyundai top three, with Mike Halder holding onto fourth ahead of Dominik Fugel.

The result means Buri’s lead in the series has been slashed to just three points, with second-placed Hesse now ten points ahead of Proczyk. Mike Halder is a further twenty-two points behind Proczyk in fourth position.

Victory for Hesse moves him into the championship lead

Max Hesse. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Max Hesse took a commanding victory in race two at Hockenheim and so moved into the lead of the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship. Guest driver Jessica Bäckman finished second and defending champion Harald Proczyk was third, delivering the second all-Hyundai podium of the weekend.

At the start, the pole-sitter Michelle Halder was first into turn one, but Dominik Fugel passed her to take the lead at the hairpin at with Jessica Bäckman then also passing Michelle for second position. A superb start saw Hesse leap from sixth on the grid to lie in third place at the end of a frantic opening lap.

On lap two, the hairpin was again the scene of the action when there was a three-way collision between Andreas Bäckman, Théo Coicaud and Pascal Eberle. The incident forced both Coicaud and Eberle to retire, whilst Bäckman received a drive-through penalty for causing the collision and so dropped outside the top ten.

The next lap then saw Hesse pass Jessica Bäckman for second and then began to close the gap to the leader, Fugel. The lead changed hands on Lap 5, with Jessica Bäckman also passing Fugel to lie in second place. Two laps later, Proczyk took third place from Fugel.

Dominik Fugel. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Antti Buri started the race with a slender lead in the championship, but started from tenth on the grid and never really looked like threatening the leaders. He was passed for seventh place by Julien Apothéloz in lap 15, but the Swiss was soon forced to pull up with what appeared to be broken steering.

Buri’s relief was to be short-lived, however, as his challenge faded over the final few laps and the Audi eventually finished twelfth.

There were no such dramas for the drivers at the head of the field and Hesse took the chequered flag a little under half a second ahead of Jessica Bäckman, with Proczyk in third place a further nine-tenths adrift. Behind the three Hyundai cars came three Honda Civic cars, with Dominik Fugel finishing fourth, ahead of Mike and Michelle Halder.

The result means Hesse has moved into the lead in the championship standings and is now fourteen points ahead of Proczyk with Buri having dropped to third place, a further seven points behind Proczyk.
The title will be decided at the series’ final round at the Sachsenring on September 28-29.

Where can you watch the action?

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at Hockenheim. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

The ADAC TCR Germany Series follows the successful route, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, of showing all of their races live on YouTube.

This is done on the ADAC YouTube Account which you can find here. The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship is also the only other series outside of WTCR, TCR Europe and TCR UK that has English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series. You can also find the races broadcast live at TCR TV.

To catch up with any of the 2019 races that you have missed with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 ADAC TCR Germany

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at Hockenheim. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk Review: 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship – Nurburgring

After following the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the TCR Europe Touring Car Series and the TCR UK Touring Car Championship in recent seasons, TCR Talk will be following a new series for 2019:

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of all the action that took place at the Nürburgring, from Qualifying all the way through to Race One on Saturday and Race Two on Sunday…

In the build-up to the race weekend, there was some surprising news as the latest driver of the guest entry being run by Hyundai Team Engstler was revealed…

Thierry Neuville is the Hyundai guest star at the Nürburgring

Thierry Neuville. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

World Rally Championship star Thierry Neuville was the latest Hyundai guest driver at the Nürburgring, where his Hyundai i30 N car was run by Hyundai Team Engstler.

The 31-year-old Belgian has finished four times a runner up in WRC (2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018), scoring 11 victories. At the wheel of a Hyundai i20 Coupe he lies in third place in the standings, twenty-five points behind the leader Ott Tänak (Toyota Yaris) and three behind the second-placed Sébastien Ogier (Citroën C3).

This will be Neuville’s first-ever participation in a major circuit race, for which he is being coached and tutored by the reigning WTCR champion Gabriele Tarquini.

Thierry Neuville sets pole position for his maiden race

Thierry Neuville. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

World Rally Championship star Thierry Neuville managed to surprise all of his competitors in Qualifying at the Nürburgring. Coached by WTCR champion Gabriele Tarquini, Neuville drove his Hyundai i30 N to set the fastest laps in both Q1 and Q2.

Neuville’s fellow driver at Team Engstler, Max Hesse, qualified in second position and pocketed the five points awarded for the ADAC TCR Germany pole position because the guest driver is not eligible to score points.

Title contenders Mike Halder and Harald Proczyk posted the third and fifth fastest laps and so scored four and two points, reducing their gaps to championship leader Antti Buri to 20 and 10 points respectively.

Mitchell Cheah and Max Hesse. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

In Q1 Julien Apothéloz and Théo Coicaud were the first drivers to post provisional fastest laps, but it was Hesse who was the first to clock a time under the 1 minute 35 mark. The young German set two provisional fastest laps of 1:34.681 and 1:34.294. However, with seven minutes left on the clock, Neuville set a time of 1:33.815. With the Belgian firmly in control, the focus switched to the battle to make the cut for Q2.

Kai Jordan, Apothéloz and Buri made it into the top twelve, while Michelle Halder – the winner of the second race at Zandvoort – was eliminated, only 65 thousandths of a second behind Jordan.

In Q2, Hesse and Neuville were the only drivers to lap in the 1:33 range on their first attempt. The second run resulted in improvements for Halder, Coicaud and Proczyk who were placed third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Hesse was also able to go faster, but his 1:33.845 was 37 thousandths of a second too slow for stealing the pole from Neuville. Series returnee Pascal Eberle and Mitchell Cheah qualified tenth and ninth, securing the front row spots on the reverse grid for the second race that took place on Sunday.

Winning debut for Thierry Neuville at the Nürburgring

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at the Nürburgring. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Guest star Thierry Neuville completed an amazing debut in circuit racing, as he dominated the first ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship race at the Nürburgring. Neuville led for the whole distance and his race leading position was never questioned, despite dealing with a safety car period.

With Neuville not eligible to score, his team-mate Max Hesse happily settled in second position to take away maximum points to aid his championship charge.

At the start, Neuville sprinted away from pole, while Harald Proczyk dived to the inside of Hesse at turn one, making contact with Mike Halder’s car that spun triggering a chain reaction. Michelle Halder swerved onto the grass in avoidance as Théo Coicaud, Dominik Fugel and Karen Gaillard all came together and spun, causing Antti Buri to lose several positions.

Bradley Burns retirement from race one of The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at the Nürburgring. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Proczyk’s car was damaged after the incident and so the Austrian was passed by team-mate Lukas Niedertscheider, Julien Apothéloz, Buri and Mitchell Cheah, dropping from third to seventh place.

On lap five, Burns pulled over the Pyro Motorsport Honda after a scary engine failure on track and the safety car was deployed. When the race restarted on lap eleven, Neuville pulled away again, followed by Hesse, while Apothéloz and Buri began a thrilling fight for third place that lasted until the end of the race with the Swiss driver managing to beat Buri by one-tenth of a second at the finish line.

Proczyk dropped further down the order thanks to his damaged Hyundai and finished in eleventh position, while half-a-dozen drivers were given a drive-through for a jump-start, including the Halder siblings.

The race one result means that Buri is still at the head of the standings, with Hesse now moved into second place only twenty-four points behind. Proczyk has slipped down to third, two points behind Hesse, while Halder is fourth with a gap of forty-four points to Buri.

Max Hesse declared the winner of a shortened race two

Max Hesse. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

The second race at the Nürburgring was plagued by terrible weather conditions as torrential rain hit the track after a few laps, resulting in a safety car intervention that was followed by the red flag and the announcement that the race would not be resumed.

Eventually, Max Hesse was declared the winner with Pascal Eberle in second place ahead of championship leader Antti Buri and Mike Halder… however, the race originally had a much different look…

In dry conditions pole-sitter Eberle stalled at the start allowing Dominik Fugel to take the lead ahead of Buri, Cheah and Proczyk. Cheah passed Buri for second before the Finn was hit by Lukas Niedertscheider and sent wide at turn two, dropping to eleventh place.

As the rain began to fall, Proczyk passed Cheah and Fugel to take the lead whilst Théo Coicaud, whose car was badly damaged at the front, and Hesse followed in fourth and fifth places respectively. Eberle, Mike Halder, Thierry Neuville, Julien Apothéloz and Buri completed the top ten places.

The controversial second race 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at the Nürburgring….that started in the dry. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Coicaud stopped, smoke coming from his engine just before a shower hit the track. A number of drivers pitted for rain tyres, including Proczyk, Fugel and Cheah, while Hesse inherited the lead ahead of Eberle, Buri, Halder, Apothéloz and Neuville.

Proczyk rejoined having lost one lap, but rain intensified and on lap six all of the drivers who hadn’t pitted – Hesse, Eberle, Buri, Halder, Apothéloz and Neuville – went off the track and rejoined. Buri, Halder, Apothéloz and Neuville elected to pit for rain tyres, while Hesse and Eberle stayed off, still on slicks in first and second position.

As the weather worsened, the safety car was deployed and after two laps the race was red-flagged. The final results were declared at the end of lap six, with Hesse, Eberle, Buri, Mike Halder, Apothéloz and Neuville declared in the first six places of the final order.

The race was not resumed and so only half points were awarded. Buri has retains the lead in the standings with a margin of twenty-two points over Hesse, while Proczyk and Halder are third and fourth, with gaps of thirty-eight and forty-six points respectively.

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship’s next race meeting will be at Hockenheimring.

Where can you watch the action?

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at the Nürburgring. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

The ADAC TCR Germany Series follows the successful route, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, of showing all of their races live on YouTube.

This is done on the ADAC YouTube Account which you can find here. The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship is also the only other series outside of WTCR, TCR Europe and TCR UK that has English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series. You can also find the races broadcast live at TCR TV.

To catch up with any of the 2019 races that you have missed with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 ADAC TCR Germany

Jörg Schori. Credit: Lubner Motorsport

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!