Engstler Motorsport has taken an emphatic 1-2 finish at the Race of Germany, the first round of the 2021 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season.
As a result of its performance with the Hyundai Elantra N TCR at the team’s home event, Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team leads the team’s standings with a seven-point advantage over its closest rivals.
In tricky conditions in qualifying, Jean-Karl Vernay secured a front row start on the grid for Race 2 with teammate Luca Engstler behind in fourth. This marked the first points-scoring session of the weekend for the team, with eight and four points awarded respectively to the drivers.
A great start from Vernay saw him take the lead of the Race 2, with Engstler battling his way into second place in the run down to the first corner. The duo soon pulled away from their nearest rivals, building a comfortable gap they would never relinquish. Both Hyundai Elantra N TCR cars had the pace to win the race, with Vernay ultimately triumphing with his debut win with the team. Engstler followed closely behind him to secure his first-ever podium in WTCR.
Both drivers secured points in the reverse-grid Race 1, in which the Frenchman finished 10th ahead of his German teammate in 14th, though a time penalty later dropped Engstler out of the points. After his victory, Vernay sits at the top of the drivers’ standings with Engstler sixth and leading the Junior Drivers’ battle.
Franz Engstler, Team Principal of Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team said: “We couldn’t have had a better start to the season with the Hyundai Elantra N TCR. A double podium is always special, but the mix of a new car, a new driver, and achieving it at our home race makes this result even more special. We’d like to thank Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing for its support, and we hope we have made them proud with our performance this weekend. The car is very competitive but we cannot afford to be complacent this early in the season. We will work hard to ensure we continue this momentum.”
Jean-Karl Vernay said: “This was the perfect start for me with a new team and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing. To take the first win with the Hyundai Elantra N TCR at the first round of the new WTCR season is a pretty cool feeling. Luca and I have been on the pace all weekend, and so it was fantastic to bring home the team’s first 1-2 result in the WTCR together. I’m looking forward to more success in the rest of the season.”
Luca Engstler said: “It has been an incredible home event for me and to be fighting for victory in our first event with the Hyundai Elantra N TCR is amazing. I am really pleased for my teammate, Jean-Karl, and that we were able to secure a 1-2 finish for the team, but I really wanted the win today. The pace and the competitiveness of the car is there, so I am confident there will be more visits to the top step of the podium for our team this season.”
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