TCR Malaysia @ Sepang
Luca Engstler is
crowned the first champion
Luca Engstler has added
another gem to his collection of TCR titles, as he was crowned the first
ever champion for TCR Malaysia.
The young German secured the title Saturday at the end of Race 1,
finishing second behind local hero Mitchell Cheah. On Suday, Engstler
ended the series on a high note taking a dominant victory in Race 2.
Pole sitter Cheah sprinted into the lead at the start of Race 1, while
Engstler jumped from third on the grid to second, followed by Paul Ip.
After being second fastest in Qualifying, Douglas Khoo took a bad start
and find himself fighting with Kai Jordan for fourth. The latter tried an
overtaking manoeuvre on the outside line during lap 2, but the two cars
clashed; Jordan retired with a broken rear right suspension, while Khoo lost
one lap in the pits for repairs. Martin Ryba, who had taken a great start
from 11th on the grid, inherited the fourth place, but lost it to Mark
Darwin moments later.
Cheah managed to increase his leading margin over Engstler who was
contented to finish second and secure the title; Ip completed the podium
and won the Cup class.
Engstler was fifth on the top-eight reverse grid; it should have beeen
sixth but advanced one place thanks to the penalty that dropped Jordan
from fourth to sixth following the incident with Khoo in Race 1.
Michael Choi made good use of the pole and took the lead, but Engstler
overtook him during lap 1. Ip overtook Jordan for third, but spun off and
rejoined at the back. Cheah recovered to third, overtaking Ryba and
Jordan; the young Malaysian passed Choi for second on lap 4, but then was
unable to close in on Engstler who increased his leading margin
consistently. Choi managed to resist the pressure from Jordan and Ryba,
so they finished in the order to fill the Cup’s podium. Second in the
class meant that Jordan claimed the Cup title.
1. Mitchell Cheah (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 11
2. Luca Engstler (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 2.079
3. Paul Ip (KCMG, Honda Civic Type R FK7), 12.292
1. Luca Engstler (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 11 laps
2. Mitchell Cheah (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 13.482
3. Michael Choi (Prince Racing, Honda Civic Type R FK7), 18.637
1. Engstler 142.5 pts; 2. Jordan 68; 3. Ryba 53; 4. Cheah 48, 5. Ip 44.5