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

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 Circuit Zandvoort, from Qualifying all the way through to Race One on Saturday and Race Two on Sunday…

Dominik Fugel wins pole position in Qualifying

Dominik Fugel. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

In a wet Qualifying session at Zandvoort, Dominik Fugel claimed his maiden pole position in the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship. In Q2, Fugel drove his Profi-Car Honda Civic to complete a lap of the Dutch circuit in 1:59.960, thirty six-thousandths of a second fastest than Bradley Burns in the Pyro Motorsport run Honda Civic.

The three title contenders – Harald Proczyk, Mike Halder and Antti Buri – filled positions third to fifth, with Proczyk who setting the third fastest lap. In the process, the Austrian cut two points off Buri’s championship-leading margin to 11 points.

In Q1, Mike Halder set the fastest lap of 1:58.697 just before the chequered flag fell, demoting Max Hesse and Burns to second and third respectively. The top-twelve who advanced to Q2 were completed by Fugel, Buri, Proczyk, Hyundai’s guest driver Lance David Arnold, Théo Coicaud, Mitchell Cheah, René Kircher, Michelle Halder and Julien Apothéloz.

Julien Apothéloz. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Jan Seyffert failed to make the cut in the Lubner Motorsport run LADA Vesta, finishing in thirteenth position, two tenths behind Apothéloz.

Proczyk clocked the first provisional fastest lap in Q2, but was soon beaten by Burns. Fugel jumped to the top with the time of 1:58.960 on his second flying lap, then Burns improved to 1:58.996 but it wasn’t enough to beat Fugel and he had to settle for second place.

The last driver to improve was Apothéloz who advanced from tenth to seventh, leaving pole position on the top-ten reversed grid for race two to Arnold.

Max Hesse wins a thrilling Race 1 at Zandvoort

Max Hesse. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Max Hesse claimed his maiden victory in the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship, as he emerged as the winner of a thrilling first race at Zandvoort after starting from sixth on the grid. Reigning champion Harald Proczyk finished third, behind Mike Halder and closed within five points of Antti Buri in the standings.

Julien Apothéloz was stripped of his seventh place on the grid because of a ride height infringement and started from tenth place on the grid. Théo Coicaud and Mitchell Cheah, who had qualified sixth and eleventh, were both dropped to the back of the grid after they received their third warning of the season.

At the start, Fugel sprinted away from pole, whilst Mike Halder moved into second after starting from fourth as Proczyk passed Bradley Burns for third. During the first lap, Cheah crashed at turn ten after making contact with Michelle Halder. Cheah limped back to the pits, but the race was red-flagged to allow for repairs to be made to the barriers.

Jan Seyffert in the Lubner Motorsport Lada Vesta. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

With 20 minutes left on the clock, the safety car led the field back on track for one lap and when racing resumed, Fugel led from Halder, Proczyk, Burns and Buri. On lap four, Proczyk overtook Halder for second, whilst Hesse advanced from eighth to fifth as he overtook Buri, Burns and Lance D. Arnold in a single bold on track move.

Proczyk dived to the inside of Fugel at the first turn on lap six, making contact and seeing Proczyk take the lead, while Fugel lost momentum and dropped to fourth behind Halder and Hesse. Race control ordered Proczyk to swap positions with Fugel and so he dropped to fourth, as Halder took the lead from Hesse and Fugel.

Hesse was able to pass Halder on lap twelve who reacted however contact between the two resulted in Hesse retaking the lead. Proczyk benefitted from the commotion and passed Fugel to finish third.

Lights-to-flag win for Michelle Halder at Zandvoort

Michelle Halder. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Michelle Halder became the first female driver to win a race in the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship as she took an authoritative lights-to-flag win in Zandvoort’s second race.

Antti Buri and her brother Mike completed the podium, whilst Saturday’s race winner Max Hesse finished in ninth position despite driving sideways for the final laps after his car was damaged in a collision with Harald Proczyk.

Michelle Halder started from pole and managed to beat Lance David Arnold to take the lead. As she pulled away tough battles for the positions developed behind with Buri passing René Kircher and Arnold to move into second. Proczyk, Mike Halder, Dominik Fugel and Hesse were driving side by side and made contact on lap two with Proczyk getting the worst of it and dropping from fourth to seventh.

Lance David Arnold. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Within a few laps, Mike Halder closed the gap on both Buri and Arnold, while Fugel pitted with a technical issue, which promoted Hesse and Proczyk to fifth and sixth respectively.

On lap ten, Mike Halder passed Arnold for third and began chasing Buri as the fight for fifth place between Hesse and Proczyk culminated with their cars coming together on lap fourteen. Something broke in Hesse’s car that left the young Hyundai driver to control it the car as it was running sideways.

Michelle Halder claimed her maiden victory from Buri, her brother Mike, Arnold and Proczyk.
In the standings, Buri is still leading with a margin of 12 points over Proczyk whilst Mike Halder has moved back into third, 24 points off the leader. Hesse has dropped from third to fourth a further 13 points adrift.

The series now moves to the Nürburgring that will host Rounds nine and ten.

Where can you watch the action?

The 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at Zandvoort. 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 Zandvoort. 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 – The Brits Abroad: Howson aims to close the gap at Okayama

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 third weekend of action taking place at Fuji. Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Matt’s performance at the Fuji International Speedway, before the series took its summer break, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Race One at Fuji…

Matt Howson. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

Yu Kanamaru drove his Team Goh Honda Civic to a second victory of the year in TCR Japan’s race one at the Fuji Speedway. It was a remarkable win as Kanamaru had started from the back of the grid following an engine change after Qualifying.

The start took place on a very wet track with Shuji Maejima’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta taking the lead at the start but was serious pressure by Matthew Howson, Shogo Mitsuyama and pole-sitter Takuro Shinohara. The Alfa slid wide at the last corner of the first lap, having to let past its three rivals. Takeshi Matsumoto took the lead and the positions stabilized with Matsumoto able to build a small gap and the others fighting for the remaining top positions as they struggled with the wet track.

On lap five, Matsumoto was still in the lead, followed by ‘Hirobon’, Mitsuyama, Maejima, Kanamaru and Howson. Maejima, Kanamaru and Howson were engaged in a superb fight for fourth place, with ‘Hirobon’ slowly catching Matsumoto and closing him down on lap seven. On a drying track, the top six drivers closed up again and after a couple of daring moves, Kanamaru took the lead ahead of Matsumoto, Mitsuyama, ‘Hirobon’, Maejima and Howson.

Matt Howson. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

With Kanamaru opening up a gap from Matsumoto, this left ‘Hirobon’, Maejima and Mitsuyama all fighting for the final podium place. The battle went right down to the final lap, with Maejima and ‘Hirobon’ side by side as they started the lap with ‘Hirobon’ easing ahead of them both.

It didn’t last however as Maejima retook third place. Mitsuyama passed ‘Hirobon’ briefly lie in fourth place, however ‘Hirobon’ quickly struck back to regain the position by the finish line.

Kanamaru won the race, with Matsumoto in second ahead of Maejima. ‘Hirobon’ held off the determined Mitsuyama to finish fourth while Howson was sixth and retained the lead in the standings, though his advantage over Mitsuyama was reduced to a single point. Matsumoto lies in third position a further five points adrift, while Kanamaru has moved up into fourth with a gap of nine points to Howson.

Race Two at Fuji…

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series at Fuji International Speedway. Credit: TCR Japan.

In a rainy and foggy day on the slopes of Mount Fuji, Yu Kanamaru claimed another dominant win in TCR Japan’s second race of the weekend. This was the third for him in the season so far and the second of the weekend.

The result propelled the Team Goh Models driver and his Honda Civic on top of the standings, eight points clear of the Volkswagen pair of Takeshi Matsumoto and Shogo Mitsuyama.

Previous leader Matthew Howson dropped to fourth in the points after he retired in the early stages of the race due to a suspected engine issue.

After winning pole position beating Matsumoto by 0.045 seconds, Kanamaru took the lead at the start from Howson and Matsumoto. During the first lap Matsumoto overtook Howson who then dropped back through the field with a misfire caused his first retirement of the season.

Behind the two leaders raged the battle for the third position between Mitsuyama, Takuro Shinohara and Shuji Maejima with Maejima overtaking Shinohara for fourth on lap four. Further behind, KCMG Team Principal Paul Ip, who had started the race in fourteenth place, passed ‘Yoshiki’ for sixth.

On lap five, Maejima advanced to third, overtaking Mitsuyama, while ‘Hirobon’ was also climbing through the field and passed ‘Yoshiki’, Ip and Shinohara to finish the race in fifth position. The final two laps of the race saw Maejima stealing second place from Matsumoto and Ip taking sixth place by overtaking Shinohara.

Howson reflects on Fuji

Matt Howson. Credit: KCMG / TCR Japan

“Fuji was a very tough weekend with changeable weather, having set the pace in the wet in testing we expected better from two wet races. Tyre performance issues in race one meant only sixth could be salvaged having climbed into the lead, and while battling for the win again in race two we suffered a misfire and had to retire the car,” explained Howson.

“That’s motorsport and we will focus on the remaining two rounds while we hold a strong position in the championship.”

Howson’s thoughts ahead of Okayama…

Howson enters this weekend as one of the overall protagonists as he sits fourth in the standings. He will also utilise his knowledge of the 3.703km circuit from his two years in Japanese Formula 3 in a bid to close the points gap ahead of the Suzuka finale on 26-27 October.

“After an unlucky round at Fuji with tyre and engine troubles in both races, Okayama will be the opportunity to get our championship back on track,” explained Howson.

“I went well here in Formula 3 and I expect this circuit will suit the Honda Civic Type R TCR FK8, so I will work hard in testing to make sure we get the absolute best from the car. I anticipate a tough battle as scoring points becomes more and more critical.”

The 2019 TCR Japan Touring Car Series at Fuji International Speedway. Credit: TCR Japan.

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!!!

TCR Talk Reviews – 2019 Michelin Pilot Challenge at Laguna Seca

Morley, Ernstone Break Through for Inaugural TCR Win in Roadshagger Audi

One year ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Gavin Ernstone and Jon Morley contested their second career race in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

Returning this weekend to Monterey, Calif., the No. 61 Roadshagger Audi RS3 LMS brought a string of four podium finishes in six races and a painstakingly near-win in its first full season. That victory finally came Saturday afternoon in an impressive 12th-to-first performance without a pit stop in the final 50 minutes of the two-hour race.

“The team did an incredible job, as they have the last five races, jumping us up during the pit stop,” said Morley, a San Francisco resident. “They got me out in third place, and then I managed to get to the lead pretty quick, pull out a bit of a gap, and then from there, it was just managing tires. We weren’t planning on running the whole way, but the way the race went, that’s what happened.”

The win ends a trying few weeks for Roadshagger, which was involved in a late-race incident from the lead at VIRginia International Raceway three weeks ago that wiped out a potential victory. The following Monday, Ernstone and Morley learned their partnering team, eEuroparts, was immediately withdrawing from the sport.

“As luck would have it, I own all the stuff that is in our team,” said Ernstone. “I own the car, the hauler, all the tools and everything else, and eEuroparts was running it for me. We just got a driver and a tractor unit straight over to Connecticut, got everything in there and brought it to (my shop in) Vegas.

“That car was finished three minutes into the beginning of the promoter test on Thursday. We thought we were going to be working on it and adjusting it through the promoter test, but it was perfect the whole test. That gave us the ability to work on strategy and everything else for this weekend. It’s been great. It couldn’t be better.”

With the victory, Ernstone and Morley moved into third place in the Pilot Challenge TCR standings, 14 points behind the leading No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR pair of Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins, 256-242.

Lewis and Wilkins finished second on Saturday by a narrow 0.276 seconds after starting from the pole position. They hold an 11-point margin over their next closest competitors in the title hunt, Tom O’Gorman and Shelby Blackstock of the No. 37 L.A. Honda World Racing Honda Civic TCR, who finished third Saturday.

The 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season concludes at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 9-11. The two-hour FOX Factory goes green on Friday, Oct. 11 at 1:25 p.m. ET and can be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.

The NBCSN broadcast of the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 will air on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. ET.

(image courtesy of IMSA)

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Lloyd endures highs and lows at Ningbo

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 Ningbo International Speedpark in China with TCR China supporting the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) over the weekend, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Qualifying at Ningbo…

Luca Engstler. Credit: TCR China

With the penultimate race weekend of the series having all the more important of the tight nature of the Drivers Championship, an unknown element entered the weekend in the shape of four-time TCR Champion Luca Engstler.

The German driver entered his Hyundai i30 N TCR as a wildcard in the series at Ningbo and didn’t turn a wheel until Qualifying.

Engstler outpaced the TCR China field in Qualifying to set the fastest time of 1:50.633 that was even faster than Yvan Muller’s pole position in the Saturday WTCR Qualifying session. An impressive result, considering that this was his first outing on the Chinese track, having missed free practice.

Rodolfo Ávila in the X Power MG6 TCR. Credit: TCR China

The impressive pace of the Hyundai, despite carrying 60kgs of new entry weight meant that the TCR China regulars were left far behind. Martin Xie qualified in second ahead of Lloyd and Couto.

Lloyd’s teammate was the fourth fastest ahead of Zhang Zhen Dong in the best of the two MG6 TCR cars.

Race One at Ningbo…

TCR China race one at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

After outpacing the TCR China field in Qualifying, Luca Engstler dominated the first race at Ningbo. The German took the lead at the start and then consistently created a gap, crossing the finishing line 4.5 seconds ahead of Daniel Lloyd.

During the first lap, Martin Xie tried to overtake Engstler for the lead. Engstler was able to successfully defend his position and this, in turn, benefited Lloyd who passed his teammate for second place, whilst the Hyundai driver retained the lead and began to pull away.

André Couto struggled to keep fourth position on track however he managed to hold off Huang Chu Han’s pressure and stayed ahead of the Audi driver who would secure fifth place at the flag.

André Couto in the third Dongfeng Racing Team Honda Civic TCR Credit: TCR China

For the rest of the race, Engstler gradually increased the gap to Lloyd whilst Xie found himself hunted down by the chasing pack of Couto and Huang. Zhang Zhen Dong cruised home in sixth position with his MG6 TCR.

The most interesting battle during the race was that for seventh position between Kenneth Look, Yan Chuang, Edward Chen and Rodolfo Ávila in the second MG6 TCR who swapped places several times. During the last lap, Chen and Ávila made contact handing seventh place to Look from Chen, Chuang and Ávila.

In the Drivers Standings, Huang has retains his points lead, however, Lloyd closed the gap to three points ahead of the second race on Sunday.

Race Two in Ningbo…

TCR China race two at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

The second TCR China’s race at Ningbo was decided by an unfortunate incident during lap three that eliminated the MacPro Racing Honda cars of André Couto and Daniel Lloyd who were running first and second on the road.

Luca Engstler inherited the lead and easily encored his Saturday win, while Huang Chu Han cruised to finish second place and stretched his championship-leading margin in the standings to 20 points ahead of Lloyd.

At the start, Edward Chen started well from the pole, while Martin Xie hit Kenneth Look’s car, which spun off. Xie’s Honda suffered from a broken front suspension and James Wong also spun in avoidance.

Huang Chu Han in the Newfaster Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR. Credit: TCR China

Couto and Lloyd overtook Chen, moving into first and second whilst Engstler passed Zhang and Chen to take third place behind the leading MacPro Racing Hondas.

During lap three, Engstler started to challenge Lloyd for second position, when Couto spun in front of them both, leaving Lloyd nowhere to go except to crash into his teammate’s car. Engstler was lucky to avoid being caught in the collision and found himself lead out in front, well ahead of Huang and Chen.

Engstler went on to win from Huang and Chen, while the X Power MG cars of Zhang Zhen Dong and Rodolfo Ávila were classified fourth and fifth. After the race, Chen was penalised for a jump start and this elevated Zhang and Ávila to third and fourth.

Lloyd reflects on Ningbo…

Daniel Lloyd. 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.”

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.”

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: David Noels/HME

The TCR China Touring Car Championship follows the successful route of live streaming, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, by showing all of their races live on YouTube and on Facebook.

This is done on the AFOS (Asian Festival of Speed) YouTube Account which you can find here. You can also find live coverage of the races at TCR TV as well as on the TCR Asia Series and TCR China Facebook pages. The joint TCR Asia and TCR China series events use full English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series outside of Asia.

To watch the full TCR Asia/TCR China races with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 TCR Asia International Series / 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship

The 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship at Ningbo. Credit: TCR China

The final rounds of the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship take place over the weekend of 26-27 October at Zhuzhou International Circuit.

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes against the 2019 TCR Asia International Series competitors whilst looking to try and 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: Lloyd ready to fightback at Ningbo

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 the Zhejiang International Circuit in China, before the series took its summer break, where race one took place on Saturday and race two took place on Sunday…

Please keep in mind that during the weekend, the TCR Asia International Series and the TCR China Touring Car Championship competed in combined grids, whilst scoring points for their separate championships.

Race One at Zhejiang…

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

Luca Engstler took a dominant victory in the TCR Asia/TCR China first race at Zhejiang International Circuit and staked a serious claim on his second consecutive TCR Asia title.

Huang Chu Han finished in third position overall and won the TCR China race, reducing his gap in the standings from Daniel Lloyd.

Engstler took the lead at the start from pole position and pulled away at the rate of one second per lap faster than his closest competitors. Behind him, there was a close fight for the second position. Lloyd led the group of chasers, but he made a mistake and went wide at the last turn at the end of the second lap, Pepe Oriola and Huang took the opportunity to pass him, moving up to second and third.

On lap 6, Huang passed Oriola, but the Spaniard didn’t give up and retook the second position on lap eleven. In the final part of the race, Huang settled in third position that meant he would take victory in the TCR China classification, while Lloyd defended fourth place from Diego Morán.

The best of the new MG6 TCR cars, that of Zhang Zhen Dong was classified in twelfth position after fighting for tenth with Gao Hua Yang’s Hyundai and Martin Xie’s Honda.

The Honda Civic FK7 of Daniel Lloyd was later excluded from Zhejiang’s first race after failing to pass the ride height check. Lloyd’s exclusion meant that Kenneth Look and Martin Xie were promoted to second and third in the final results of TCR China’s first race and also that the Briton lost the first position in the championship standings.

Race Two in Zhejiang

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

Huang Chu Han finished fourth overall in the race and repeated his race one victory in the TCR China classification by taking back to back wins.

At the start, Martin Xie sprinted ahead of Daniel Miranda who sat on pole position, but at turn one, the Filipino driver hit the back of Xie’s Honda. This helped Morán to pass both drivers and take the lead. During the opening lap, Pepe Oriola overtook both Miranda and Xie, moving up into second. Xie, then, pitted for repairs after the incident with Miranda.

On lap three, Engstler had recovered to third after starting from tenth and began chasing Oriola. For several laps, the Spaniard defended heavily, as Engstler made a mistake and dropped to fourth position, behind Huang.

Engstler moved back into third position for good on lap twelve, but it was too late to catch up with Oriola again. Adam Khalid also overtook Lloyd for fifth on lap twelve as well.

In the TCR China classification, Lloyd was second behind Huang, while Zhang Zhen Dong finished in tenth position overall and gave the new MG6 TCR its first podium in the series. Huang has stretched the gap in the standings to nine points over Honda driver Daniel Lloyd with four races left to go.

Lloyd reflects on Zhejiang

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

“It was a tough weekend. We were carrying a lot of success ballast from Shanghai. Effectively we were 80kg heavier,” said Lloyd.

“We did a really good job in qualifying to claim the TCR China pole, and second overall. Running on new tyres we managed to get a fast lap out of the Honda, but it was really hard to with so much weight on-board. All three of us in the team struggled. I was happy with my own performance overall, but Zhejiang is a very hilly circuit, and the weight just killed our pace.

The reigning TCR UK Champion then went on to explain why he was excluded from the first TCR China race results.

“Failing the ride-height inspection after race one was a real shame. We saw from the damper sensor during the race that it had dropped below the limit. The team checked everything beforehand though and there was plenty of clearance. Unfortunately, it just meant that we lost the points from that race,” explained Lloyd.
 
“I’m still very much in the fight for the championship title, as is the team. We’re confident for the next round at Ningbo.”

Lloyd’s thoughts ahead of Ningbo…

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: MacPro Racing Team

The reigning TCR UK Champion arrives at the Zhejiang province circuit just nine points shy of the current leader, with his Dongfeng Honda Racing Team also looking to reclaim the championship lead as the TCR China series heads into its final throes.

Lloyd last competed on the 4.015km track in 2017, taking an impressive double podium in the CTCC, racing against former WTCC Champion Rob Huff on his Ningbo debut. Returning to the circuit this week, the 26-year-old is keen to bounce back from a tough fourth meeting back in July where he lost a podium place due to a ride height failure in the #77 Honda Civic Type R.

““It’s been a long break since the last round at Zhejiang, I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and working with the Dongfeng crew again. The goal this weekend is to close the gap as much as we can and make sure that we win the championship at the end of the year. With only two rounds left we need to make the results count,” explained Lloyd.

“We’re not racing with TCR Asia this weekend, so it’s a smaller grid, we are supporting the WTCR grid though which is mega. Alongside the Chinese Touring Car Championship as well, so it should be a great atmosphere. Ningbo is a great circuit, I had a good battle with Rob Huff last time I raced here and we took two second-place finishes. Hopefully, we can be as successful here again this weekend.”

Daniel Lloyd. Credit: TCR China

The TCR China Touring Car Championship follows the successful route of live streaming, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, by showing all of their races live on YouTube and on Facebook.

This is done on the AFOS (Asian Festival of Speed) YouTube Account which you can find here. You can also find live coverage of the races at TCR TV as well as on the TCR Asia Series and TCR China Facebook pages. The joint TCR Asia and TCR China series events use full English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series outside of Asia.

To watch the full TCR Asia/TCR China races with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2019 TCR Asia International Series / 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship

The 2019 TCR Asia International Series and the 2019 TCR China Touring Car Championship at Zhejiang. Credit: TCR Asia-TCR China

TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, as he competes against the 2019 TCR Asia International Series competitors whilst looking 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: Hockenheim awaits for Bradley Burns

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Bradley Burns, who is competing in the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship for Pyro Motorsport Honda…

This weekend sees the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship move on to its penultimate circuit at the German Grand Prix venue of Hockenheim. Below is a recap of how Bradley did last time out at the Nürburgring.

The Nürburgring weekend…

Bradley Burns at the Nürburgring. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

It’s safe to say that the following weekend at the Nürburgring can be classified as Pyro Motorsports most challenging weekend in the series so far. After showing good pace in Free Practice, Bradley lined up seventeenth on the grid as the result of a difficult Qualifying session. Despite making a good start, the Honda driver was forced to retire at the final chicane before the end of lap one due to an engine fire.

With the teams working overnight to get a new engine in place, Burns was able to join the grid at the back for race two. The British driver made a good start and was making progress through the field as he battled with the likes of Burri and Michelle Halder. However, a deluge hit the track after lap six and despite being one of the first runners to come in for wet tyres, the race was declared at the six laps mark, leaving Burns to take home an eleventh place finish.

Burns reflects on The Nürburgring

Bradley Burns. Credit: ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography

“We gave it everything we had but things just didn’t come together for us this weekend. The pace was good in FP1 and FP2 but we had a wheel stud failure on my first flying lap in qualifying and had to start Race 1 from the back. I battled up to P9 before the engine let go and ended our race early but the guys at Pyro did an amazing job to get another power unit in the car for Race 2,” explained Burns.

“Although we started from last again, we made quick progress through the field and pitted for wets at just the right moment. The team pulled off a quick stop and got me back out again so, once everybody else had been pitted, we were up in P2 before the race was red-flagged. Unfortunately, the race result was taken two laps before so we were classified P11 which is frustrating but we look forward to Hockenheim next month where hopefully we can have a change in fortunes.”

Burns thoughts ahead of Hockenheim…

Burns is back in action this weekend where he will race in rounds eleven and twelve of the series at Hockenheim, which has been familiar territory for both The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship and played host to the 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series earlier in the year.

Having endured a difficult time at the Nürburgring, where the Honda driver suffered a firey exit in race one and lost out to the countback rules of the shortened race two, Burns gives his thoughts ahead of this weekends action.

“After a tough weekend at Nürburgring where we lost a bit of momentum in the Junior Class, we go to Hockenheim hoping to turn things around and give it everything we have, explained Burns.

“We’re still in a good position and heading the championship but, as we approach the final two races of the season, it’s becoming more and more important to bag good points. Let’s see what we can do!

Where can you watch the action?

Credit: ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography

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 one of several series that has English commentary along with WTCR, TCR Europe, TCR Australia and TCR UK, 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

Bradley Burns. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

TCR Talk will be following Bradley Burns, with great interest as he competes in one of the toughest 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 ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk Reviews: 2019 TC America – Watkins Glen

Race 1

TC America Race 1 was held under the late afternoon sun at Watkins Glen International with Michael McCann Jr and his #3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS leading the field to the green flag.  At turn 1 to start the race, championship leader Michael Hurczyn would get his #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI around the #34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo of James Walker to grab third position.  A few corners later, Mason Filippi and the #12 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N would leap past McCann for the lead, just prior to a full course caution being called for a heavy incident by Nick Wittmer’s #91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS just two minutes into the forty minute event.

The race went back to green with 22 minutes left on the clock with Filippi leading McCann in TCR and Tyler Maxson in the #74 Copeland Motorsports Mazda MX5 Cup leading Mark Pombo’s #59 MINI Cooper JCW in TCA.

Heading into the bus stop with 19 minutes remaining, McCann was able to slip past Filippi for the TCR lead with the top five running within 1 second of each other.  McCann would slowly draw away from the rest of the field and go on to take his first TCR win of the season.

At the same time, Mark Pombo was able to get past Maxson going into the bus stop and take the lead in TCA.  Pombo would never look back and go on to take the class victory, his second of the season.  Behind Pombo the TCA class would finish with Maxson in second and Taylor Hagler third in the #77 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si.

With 13 minutes left on the clock, Nate Vincent and his #72 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI was able to get past both Hurczyn and Filippi to claim second position.  Shortly after, championship leader Hurczyn would follow Vincent past Filippi for third.  With under 2 minutes remaining Hurczyn would make his run at Vincent, but came just short and had to settle for the final podium position.

The TCR Cup victory would go to the #41 TWOth Autosport Audi RS3 LMS of Travis Hill with the #18 EXR Team by Premat Audi RS3 LMS of Stephen Vajda second and Christian Cole in the #27 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS third.


Race 2

TCR championship leader Michael Hurczyn and his #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI lead the TC America field to the green flag with race 1 winner, Michael McCann Jr and the #3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS, quickly moving past Nate Vincent in the #72 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI for second place.  James Walker and the #34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo would also slip by Mason Filippi’s #12 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N for fourth.  Filippi would need to pit for a mechanical issue a few minutes later, essentially ending his race.

With 27 minutes remaining, Michael McCann Jr would take the lead after slip-streaming past Hurczyn going into the bus stop and instantly gap the field, pulling a 1.2 second lead.  McCann would go on to cruise to the overall victory, his second of the weekend.  “It was a really good weekend.  The Audi had really good pace, especially in a straight line.  The guys got the car ready and we made it happen!” said McCann.

In TCA, Mark Pombo and the #59 MINI Cooper JCW would lead from the start with Nate Norenberg in the #60 MINI Cooper JCW in second, Tomas Mejia in the #62 MINI Cooper JCW third with Tyler Maxson and the #74 Copeland Motorsports Mazda MX5 Cup fourth.  Taylor Hagler, who spun on lap 1 and fell to the back of the grid, would fight her way back through the field and find herself fifth in class with 20 minutes remaining.

Maxson would get past Mejia for third with 19 minutes left on the clock and would start his pursuit of Norenberg for second.  With 11 minutes left in the race, Maxson would catch and pass Norenberg going into turn 1 while Mejia would get past Norenberg on the next lap.  Later in the lap both Norenberg and Halger would suffer flat tires and retire.

Mark Pombo would control the TCA field and go on to take the class win with Tyler Maxson second, and Tomas Mejia third.  “Early in the season we had some trouble with the MINIs, but the guys at LAP Motorsports have really found something with the car and this weekend has saved our season,” said Pombo.  PJ Groenke in the #44 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS and Sally McNulty in the #780 TEAMSALLY Honda Civic Si would round out the top 5.

TCR Cup saw the #41 TWOTh Autosport Audi RS3 LMS of Travis Hill grab his second win of the weekend with Stephen Vajda and the #18 EXR Team by Premat Audi RS3 LMS finishing second and Christian Cole in the #27 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS third.

The TC America TCR/TCA classes will next be in action September 20th-22nd at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Highs and Lows for Burns during TCR Germany double header event

During 2019, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with Bradley Burns, who is competing in the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship for Pyro Motorsport Honda…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Bradley’s performances at both Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands and at the Nürburgring in Germany as the series returned fro the summer with back to back events.

The Zandvoort weekend…

Bradley Burns. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

During a weekend that witnessed contrasting weather conditions at the beachside circuit, Bradley Burns excelled in the wet condition during Qualifying to line up on the front row of the grid for the first race of the weekend.

After finishing in third place in Q1, the young British driver progressed to Q2 where he held the fastest lap for most of the session until fellow Honda driver Dominik Fugel set the fastest lap to steal pole position by 36-thousandths of a second

Race one was held in drier conditions on Saturday, with high winds hitting the circuit all day. The Pyro Motorsport driver lost out at the start as he fell down the order, not having the chance to setup the Honda Civic FK7 for a dry race.

At the start, Fugel sprinted away from pole, whilst Mike Halder moved into second after starting from fourth and Harald Proczyk passed Burns for third. During the first lap Mitchell Cheah crashed at T10 after making contact with Michelle Halder; he limped back to the pits, but the race was red-flagged for allowing the barriers to be repaired.

Credit: Race Vision

With 20 minutes left on the clock, the safety car led the field back on track for one lap and when racing resumed, Fugel led from Halder, Proczyk, Burns and Buri. On lap 4, Proczyk overtook Halder for second, while Hesse advanced from eighth to fifth as he overtook Buri, Burns and Lance D. Arnold in a single move.

Burns held on to bring the Honda home in sixth place in the shortened race, having learned valuable information to improve the setup of the car for Sunday’s second race.

As Michelle Halder stole the headlines for taking her first overall race victory in the series in race two, Burns made his way forward after an improved setup to the Honda made his charge possible. The former Renault Clio driver surpassed his race one effort by going fifth fastest.

Burns reflects on Zandvoort

“We had really good pace to get on the front row in the wet in qualifying and I’m very happy with the win and P2 in the Junior Class. We were a bit unlucky in Race 1 though as, with almost no dry running, we didn’t have a full dry setup and I dropped a few places,explained Burns.

“We then made some adjustments for Race 2 and took a bit of a gamble which didn’t quite pay off so I had to hang on and do what I could to collect as many points as possible. I’m pleased to have bagged some good points from Zandvoort but now our attention turns straight to Nürburgring this weekend.”

Burns thoughts ahead of Nürburgring…

“There’s no time to rest as we head straight to Nürburgring from Zandvoort. Although I’ve never been there before, Nürburgring looks a fast and flowing track which should really suit the Honda. We have some work to do in testing on Thursday but hopefully, we can make some positive progress and find a good balance with the car.”

The Nürburgring weekend…

Bradley Burns at the Nürburgring. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

It’s safe to say that the following weekend at the Nürburgring can be classified as the Pyro Motorsports most challenging weekend in the series so far. After showing good pace in Free Practice, Bradley lined up seventeenth on the grid as the result of a difficult Qualifying session. Despite making a good start, the Honda driver was forced to retire at the final chicane before the end of lap one due to an engine fire.

With the teams working overnight to get a new engine in place, Burns was able to join the grid at the back for race two. The British driver made a good start and was making progress through the field as he battled with the likes of Burri and Michelle Halder. However, a deluge hit the track after lap six and despite being one of the first runners to come in for wet tyres, the race was declared at the six laps mark, leaving Burns to take home an eleventh place finish.

Burns reflects on The Nürburgring

“We gave it everything we had but things just didn’t come together for us this weekend. The pace was good in FP1 and FP2 but we had a wheel stud failure on my first flying lap in qualifying and had to start Race 1 from the back. I battled up to P9 before the engine let go and ended our race early but the guys at Pyro did an amazing job to get another power unit in the car for Race 2,” explained Burns.

“Although we started from last again, we made quick progress through the field and pitted for wets at just the right moment. The team pulled off a quick stop and got me back out again so, once everybody else had been pitted, we were up in P2 before the race was red-flagged. Unfortunately, the race result was taken two laps before so we were classified P11 which is frustrating but we look forward to Hockenheim next month where hopefully we can have a change in fortunes.”

Where can you watch the action?

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

TCR Talk will be following Bradley Burns, with great interest as he competes in one of the toughest 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 ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Tight Championship Battles on Track as the 2019 CTCC Presented by Pirelli Wraps up at CTMP

Expectedly, the TCR class battle was intense all weekend.  Starting in Friday’s qualifying, Jean-François Hevey (No. 21 TRC/M1GT Audi RS3 LMS TCR) put down a pole setting lap of 1:24.338, besting the previous CTCC TCR lap record set by teammate Matthew Taskinen during the Victoria Day Speedfest earlier this year.

TCR points leader Gary Kwok (No. 66 M&S Racing Honda Civic TCR) qualified in second place, trailing by a mere 0.014 second!  Gary managed to pass Jean- François early on and briefly got into a dogfight for the overall lead with the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in GT Sport.  The race eventually evolved into a battle between teammates with Tom Kwok (No. 55 M&S Racing Honda Civic TCR) passing the No. 21 Audi.  However, Gary was able to hold onto the lead in the No. 66 car and finished first ahead of brother and teammate Tom.

A race between the two TRC/M1GT Audi RS3 LMS TCR’s of Jean-François Hevey (No. 21) and Matthew Taskinen (No. 23) unfolded behind the Honda’s, with Hevey holding on to finish in third and Taskinen right behind him in fourth.

After an intense day of racing on Friday, CTCC competitors had a chance to regroup Saturday morning before the round 10 finale.


The championship battle continued on all the way through the last race.  M&S Racing teammates Tom (No. 55) and Gary Kwok (No. 66) started on the front row, with Gary leading the race in first overall for a few corners before the GT Sport cars passed him on the straightaway.  Tom managed to catch up and passed Gary on the back straight for the lead and went on to win the race.

After falling into a slump at GP3R, Matthew Taskinen (No. 23 TRC/M1GT Audi RS3 LMS TCR) bounced back for the final round to finish second after passing Gary’s Honda around the halfway mark.

The next group of TCR cars finished over 11.5 seconds later.  Travis Hill (No. 26 TWOth Audi RS3 LMS TCR) led the group in third place, recovering from a midfield finish the day before which pushed him down one spot in class standings.  Finishing fourth is Bob Attrell (No. 88 Hyundai Racing Canada Hyundai i30N TCR) who made a tremendous charge to overtake Jean- François Hevey (No. 21 TRC/M1GT Audi RS3 LMS TCR) who ended up in fifth.

Falling back a few spots after running in front of the entire field, Gary implemented a conservative strategy to avoid contact as he only needed to finish the race to win the championship.  He dropped back to finish in sixth place and secured his first CTCC championship in 13 years of racing!

Despite missing the podium in round 10, Jean- François Hevey’s performance was enough to secure second place in TCR class ahead of Travis Hill in third.  The TCR top three finished within 30 points of each other, showing that the class should be highly competitive for years to come!  Matthew Taskinen could not catch the top three despite his strong performance and finished fourth for the year

TCR Talk Reviews: 2019 Michelin Pilot Challenge At VIR

Continuing along with the theme of late, rained poured for most of the Michelin Pilot Challenge weekend at Virginia International Raceway, a 3.27 mile, 17 turn road course in Alton, Virginia.

Friday’s qualifying was cancelled due to said rain, so Saturday’s race was set by championship points with the #98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N leading the grid of 12 TCR machines to the green flag for the 2 hour event.

Another hectic wet-dry race would see the field mixed up with the #23 FastMD Racing Audi RS3 LMS of James Vance and Nick Galante take the class victory, their first of the season, after storming from 8th.  The championship leading #98 car would fall to finish 4th in class, and see their points advantage reduced to a mere five points as the sister #21 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai would come home second, the car’s third straight podium finish.  The #54 JDC-Miller Audi RS3 LMS would grab the third, their second podium finish in the last three races.

With two races remaining in the 2019 season, the championship standings are as followed:

#98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hynundai Veloster N (224)

#21 Bryan Herta Autosport Hynundai Veloster N (219)

#37 LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type R (215)

#61 eEuroparts.com Rowe Racing Audi RS3 LMS (207)

#84 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R (200)

The Michelin Pilot Challenge series will next be in action on Saturday September 14th at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the penultimate round of the 2019 season.

(featured image courtest of IMSA / Galstad)