Luca Engstler secured a podium finish in his first home race of the 2019 TCR Europe series season, with the M1RA driver fighting off the WRT Volkswagen of Maxime Potty to secure his best result so far, after a tough start to the season in Hungary.
Engstler made a terrific start in his Hyundai i30 N TCR from third on the grid to blast past Gilles Magnus’ Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS into second, and briefly challenged the Target Competition Hyundai of his former TCR Germany championship rival Josh Files, but Files managed to pull away, leaving Engstler fighting to keep back both Maxime Potty’s Volkswagen and Julien Briché’s Peugeot.
“After the first event at the Hungaroring when we were starting from 37th, now we’re on the podium so I’m really happy. Thanks to Hyundai for giving me a perfect car,” said Engstler to TouringCarTimes.
“We struggled a bit in the race with tyre degradation, but we can be quite happy to finish in this competitive series in P2.
“The Volkswagens are amazingly fast down the straight, so it was always my goal to get a small gap into Turn 1 and Turn 2 which worked out quite well, in the end it was fun, but I’d rather have been fighting with Josh (Files) in front, than Maxime (Potty) behind me.”
Engstler’s podium and a mixed first race for the championship front runners has meant Engstler had leapt to ninth in the points table, tied with Target’s Andreas Bäckman.
“For now, I’m not looking at the championship. I just want to finish all the races from now on,” said Engstler.