Good starts, but little luck. Though they fought valiantly, they had little defence against cars with superior straightline speed.
Attila Tassi had a good start in the first race in Bahrain and was able to move up from 6th to 4th place. At the end of the first lap he lost a place and became involved in the fight for 5th place. Then he was spun by another competitor, which cost him another 3 places. Tassi became involved in more battles for position, eventually finishing the race in 9th place.
His teammate Tiago Monteiro finished 12th. He had started the race from 13th place and, after a strong first lap, had moved up to 9th place. However, he then had to deal with massive tire problems on his Honda Civic Type R, which threw him back to 12th place.
The LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler then worked overnight on the setup of the Honda and ticked off the second run more or less as a test session. Monteiro was enthusiastic about the new setup and was able to successfully fight his way up into the top ten. However, he lost two places again, but still finished within 2.5 seconds behind the top 10 place.
Teammate Attila Tassi wasn't very lucky in race 2 either. He started the race from fifth position and after an excellent start he was fighting for third place at Turn 4. Two competitors tried to overtake him on the inside. Despite evasive maneuvers, he was unable to prevent slight contact with one of the two cars. He was hit by another competitor and dropped back a few positions. Tassi kept fighting, but the Honda oversteered badly and he had to retire early.
Tiago Monteiro, LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler“On the positive side, the changes we made to the car for the second race were good. The car was much better to drive, especially in the first half of the race. However, I was quickly brought back to earth. The 40 kg of additional weight are simply noticeable and a problem for the tyres. I tried to fight but all in all it was a tough and frustrating weekend.”
Attila Tassi, LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler“I had two good starts, but unfortunately no luck. I particularly regret the premature retirement in the second race. But my Honda was too badly damaged and it was a struggle to keep the car on the track at all because it was oversteering so much. It's really unfortunate and I feel sorry for the team because we could have scored much better points in both races. Both times we were knocked out by others.”
In just two weeks we are heading to the FIA WTCR season finale in Saudi Arabia. The team will give everything to finish the last ever FIA WTCR race weekend on a high.