Liqui Moly Team Engstler had a perfect morning today, Saturday 31st March 2018, with all three drivers setting blistering pace to claim the top three positions for the race tomorrow. Luca Engstler claimed pole position for the Season Opening TCR Asia 2018 race at Sepang International Circuit, just marginally ahead of teammates Mitchell Cheah and Diego Moran. All three drivers are aiming to complete a perfect weekend with two all-Liqui Moly Team Engstler podiums.
Franz Engstler, team owner, Touring Car legend and father to Luca, was elated with the outcome of the day. He was proud of his son and happy with the overall performance of the team, “for me it is a beautiful situation. 10 years ago I was here in Sepang for ATCC and I was on the podium with my son and now when he got out of the pit today and did a pole position, it was perfect. I hope he can enjoy the race here in Sepang.
“It’s a really great situation for the team. Fantastic Qualifying for Liqui Moly and we hope we can have a good podium” ended F.Engstler.
Claiming the first pole position for the first race of the season at a track that is new to him was just a testament of L.Engstler’s driving ability.
“It was a perfect lap. The team did a perfect job and the car was just perfect. It was my first time here and I need to say thank you to Mitchell, on Thursday, he taught me the track and now we did it. I am happy”.
Cheah was in good spirits and looking forward to the race tomorrow.
“I feel good but my expectations was to smash the qualifying and be on pole but P2 is fine. I’m very close to with my teammate so it’s a good qualifying session.
“The team can go into tomorrow’s race with a really good feeling with P1-P3, so we can all be on the podium” said Cheah.
Moran had a good outing and was on pace throughout the day
“I’m happy with my time. It was a little bit unfortunate because I lost some time in the third sector of my second fast lap, but that’s racing. It’s part of it and I am confident that I can improve and I’ll be in the battle for tomorrow”.
Kurt Treml, Sport & Marketing Director, Liqui Moly Team Engstler was all smiles after the qualifying session.
“I am happy. It’s the best result we can do here. I am proud of my drivers. Perfect performance from the beginning to the end here today”.
With three drivers at the front of the grid, team strategy will be important.
“The strategy will be a bit complicated tomorrow. We will see what happens during the start but I think the driver who wins the start will stay in front, they are all fast enough.
“You can see the three cars are setup in the same condition, so it is all based on the different experiences they have” ended Treml.
The heat will be a factor for both L.Engstler and Moran,
“It’s difficult in the heat. I know I have the pace and the speed and we have a very good car for tomorrow. The setup is good for the race” said Moran.
For tomorrow, all three drivers had the same sentiment, with L.Engstler saying “The start will be quite difficult and I will try to do consistent laps and hope we have a Liqui Moly podium tomorrow”.
“We will need to respect each other and have a fair race, no bumping. I will try to get a clean start and try to get the lead at the start” added Moran.
Race 1 for TCR Asia is scheduled for 10.05am (local time) on Sunday, 1st April 2018 with Race 2 held later the same day at 4pm.
- 2018 TCR Asia schedule
29 March – 01 April – Sepang, Malaysia
31 May – 03 June – Buriram, Thailand
12 – 15 July – Bangsaen, Thailand
23 – 26 August – Korea, South Korea
04 – 07 October – Shanghai, China