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
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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:
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!