Engstler Motorsport endured a difficult weekend at Race of Hungary, the fourth round of the
2020 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season.
Both Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team cars struggled in the wet during qualifying on Saturday. Though Sunday brought drier and more favourable conditions, both Hyundai i30 N TCR cars had to battle their way through from the mid-field.
Luca Engstler was the highest-placed WTCR rookie driver in Race 1, in which he secured an eighth place finish. The German was caught in the first lap melee in Race 2, but was on course to salvage some points before a separate on-track incident forced him to retire. Despite the huge task, his mechanics worked tirelessly to repair the damage to the car to enable Engstler to take to the grid for the final race of the weekend.
Making his WTCR debut, Nico Gruber gave a reliable performance in demanding conditions. Deputising for Nicky Catsburg at the Hungaroring, the Austrian grew more comfortable with the Hyundai i30 N TCR with each session and finished in the points in Race 2.
Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team is eighth in the teams’ standings, with drivers Catsburg and Engstler 15th and 17th respectively.
Franz Engstler, Team Principal of Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team said: “After our weekend in Slovakia, this is not the result we wanted from Race of Hungary. Our performance in wet conditions needs to improve, so we must analyse this before the next race. The weekend went from bad to worse with Luca’s incident in Race 2, which required a huge effort from the team to rebuild the car to be able to compete in Race 3.The pace of the Hyundai i30 N TCR was evident in Sunday’s dry conditions, but overall we depart Hungary unsatisfied.”
Luca Engstler said: “I leave Hungary with mixed feelings. I was quite happy with the first race, the car felt really good and I was the fastest of the Hyundai i30 N TCRs. Race 2 was difficult from the start. There were a lot of crashes in front of me and I got a hit on the front right, followed by another on the rear left. My goal was to finish the race and grab some points but then I was spun around into the wall and my race was over. I have to say a big thanks to the team, it was amazing what they were able to do to get me on the grid for Race 3.”
Nico Gruber said: “My first experience of WTCR was really good. Saturday was my first time competing in the wet with the car, which I found tricky. On Sunday in the races we struggled in the beginning but I had some good pace considering it was my first time here in a touring car and with the Goodyear tyres. In Race 2 my feeling in the car was much better and I was able to score some points. I would like to thank Hyundai Motorsport and Engstler Motorsport for this opportunity and for giving me a great car.”
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