Preview: 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series – Hockenheim

by Phil Kinch

The Hockenheimring in Germany plays host to rounds three and four of The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series where the Grand Prix venue will offer a new challenge to many in the field.

Whilst the TCR International Series nor TCR Europe have raced there before, the Hockenheimring has seen TCR competition in action previously with the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship competing there since 2016.

The venue has always provided strong and close racing with plenty of overtaking opportunities. There are several big names in this year’s series that could do with a good points haul to try and close the gap on Gilles Magnus in the Comtoyou Racing Audi, the unexpected Drivers Championship leader…

There’s more to come!

Dan Lloyd will compete in the rest of the season for Brutal Fish Racing Team. Credit: BRSCC / TCR UK Series

The Honda ranks swell in Germany as Martin Ryba is joined by last years TCR UK Champion, Daniel Lloyd in a second Civic for the rest of the season, starting this weekend. The British driver stormed to the title last year and has shown that he can adapt to any TCR machine. Expect Lloyd to star over the weekend once he’s up to speed.

Tom Coronel makes his debut in the series, replacing Stéphane Lémeret who drove the Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda in Hungary whilst the Dutch driver was on WTCR duty. Once he’s re-acclimatised to the Civic, Coronel will be a contender.

The PCR Sport duo of Abdulla Ali Al-Khelaifi and Davit Kajaia along with Marie Baus-Coppens in the CUPRA ranks are joined by Stian Paulsen, who is back in action after completing the rebuild his car from last year. The Norwegian driver has struggled to get the car ready for this season so points will be a welcome reward.

The Hungaroring highlighted that quite a few drivers and teams were left with homework to be completed after struggling with setup issues and the difficult conditions. The Renault Mégane RS cars showed good pace during their first weekend of action with both Alex Morgan and John Filippi hoping to get more seat time in the cars as the settle them in.

The WestCoast Racing duo of Gianni Morbidelli and Olli Kangas will effectively see this weekend as the start of the season with work to be done on the Volkswagens. Both men struggled in Hungary and will be out for a change of luck in Germany.

Those in need of points!

Engstler will be after a better performance on home turf. Credit: WSC Ltd / TCR Europe

Hungary showed that the Hyundai and Peugeot drives were in the best position to start the season off well. This weekend the competition has its first chance to try and close the gap on both the Target Competition and JSB Compétition teams each outfit took a win apiece.

Despite both Mat’o Homola and Julien Briché taming the changing track conditions to take a win each, Magnus holds the championship lead due to his consistency of finishing in seventh place in race one and second place in race two. Not bad for his first weekend of TCR competition, however, the Belgian driver will have a hard task of leaving Germany with that points lead intact.

Luca Engstler and Josh Files are two drivers who have driven at the Hockenheimring, thanks to previous TCR Germany campaigns. After enduring a difficult weekend in Hungary, Engstler will be out to make up for that on his first visit to home turf this season. Files, who lies only five points behind Magnus, will have eyes on the silverware as well.

There is a fleet of Hyundai drivers capable of topping the podium, including Dušan Borković, Jessica and Andreas Bäckman from Target Competition along with Dániel Nagy at M1RA Motorsport. WRT should not be counted out with Santiago Urrutia making a positive debut in Hungary and Maxime Potty capable of extracting more from the Golf.

The Hockenhiemring awaits!

TCR Europe will make its debut at Hockenheim this weekend. Credit: WSC Ltd / TCR Europe

With the International GT Open as the headline act this weekend, TCR Europe is joined by the TCR Benelux Touring Car Series entries where the drivers and teams will all compete in the same races. Race one will take place on Saturday with Race two taking place on Sunday.

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