Engstler Motorsport saw a glimmer of hope amid an overall difficult outing at the fifth round
of the 2020 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season, Race of Spain.
Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team demonstrated an improvement from the previous round, Race of Hungary, but issues in qualifying and with standing starts prevented the team from achieving more with the Hyundai i30 N TCR.
Luca Engstler secured a top-ten start for each of Sunday’s races with his qualifying efforts, and went on to finish Race 1 in the points with eighth place.
The German began Race 2 from the front row of the grid, but came close to stalling his car at the start and subsequently dropped down the order. Engstler was able to regain some positions to cross the finish line in sixth, though a post-race penalty later demoted him to ninth. Race 3 ended in retirement after his rear brakes locked and he collided with another car on track.
In his WTCR debut, Josh Files enjoyed two points scoring finishes in Races 2 and 3. He was unable to progress to the second part of qualifying due to a problem with his car, but the team was able to rectify the issue ahead of race day. The Brit carved his way through the field to claim a 12th and eighth place finish on-track, but penalties applied after the race see him classified in 14th and 10th respectively.
Though the pace of the Hyundai i30 N TCR shone through during qualifying and Sunday’s races, the team acknowledges there is still work to be done to achieve its desired high performance across every session.
Franz Engstler, Team Principal of Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team said: “While we have made a step forward since Hungary, we cannot say we are content with our result at Race of Spain. It has been another difficult weekend. We need to analyse our performance and take steps to ensure that both cars secure advantageous qualifying results, which we are then able to convert into podiums and wins. Luca and Josh both demonstrated the competitive pace of the Hyundai i30 N TCR in the races, but we need to do more work before the final round of the season to have a successful weekend.”
Luca Engstler said: “A tough one for us in Aragón. I started the second race on the front row of the grid but I had an issue with my standing start and nearly stalled my engine. Though I dropped down the order I recovered quite well. The speed in the car was good but having lost ground at the start, I wasn’t able to do anymore. In the end I managed two good results in the first two races before retiring in Race 3. ”
Josh Files said: “It was a tricky first weekend for my WTCR debut. I had an issue in qualifying that prevented me from progressing into Q2, which put me on the back foot for the races. I managed to score points in two of the three races and bring the car home. I enjoyed lots of on-track battles and was right in the middle of it all. Thank you to Engstler Motorsport and Hyundai Motorsport for this opportunity.”
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