1-2 for LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler at penultimate TCR Asia race
Diego Moran edged out teammate and reigning TCR Asia Series Champion, Luca Engstler, from the Round 9 win in Thailand today. The Ecuadorian had an outstanding outing in an incident filled race, the penultimate battle for the 2019 season. LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, was already crowned the Team Championship in Zhejiang last July and are on their way to claiming the Driver’s title, which is turning out to be a fiercely friendly internal battle between the two talented teammates.
“I am very happy with the race. P1 is incredible and is amazing here in Bangsaen, such an iconic track, so you can imagine how happy I am. Everything worked in my favour. I did a smart race, I also had a good pace and I am really happy. Looking forward for tomorrow” said Moran with a big smile.
Engstler started the race on pole but was forced into a spin at turn 2, which relegated him towards the rear of the pack. The incident also caused the Safety Car to be called out for one lap. As soon as the track was cleared, he got himself back into the race and pushed on to chase the lead pack in just two laps.
Up ahead, Moran, who started the race 3rd, was chasing down the race leader for position before his rival was called in to pit. While Moran took the race lead, Engstler caught up and immediately started to pile the pressure on. The ever calm Moran maintained his race line and his pace, making the Hyundai i30 N TCR seem very wide on the track.
“The circuit is very tricky in every part. I was a bit worried about Luca because he was coming up behind me really fast, but I had a good pace and I recognise the areas where he was stronger and where I was stronger so I think I would have been able to defend quite good but I don’t know, I mean I felt confident to keep him behind me” said Moran.
As they were battling, trouble brewed behind them. On lap 6, a massive three car incident called out the Safety Car once again. As the drivers circled the track behind the Safety Car and the officials worked to remove the wreckage, the teams received news that the race was called on lap 10, awarding full points for the shortened race.
“It is not how you want the race to end but we have our drivers back safe and after a bit of confusion with the results earlier, we now have confirmation that our drivers finished 1-2, which is what we always aim for” said Andreas Klinge, Team Manager for LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler.
Speaking about the race and the Championship, Engstler feels very confident heading into the race tomorrow. “I was tapped into turn one, which caused me to spin. In the end I finished P2 which is enough to score the title now, so we are really happy at the end”.
“It will be another exciting race tomorrow as we know that both drivers will be giving their best so our guests who are here this weekend and race fans from around the world watching will have a fantastic race to watch. As always we aim for the top two steps and with the reverse grid order, the narrow circuit, it will be an amazing race to cap off a great 2019” ended Klinge.
Round 10 is scheduled for Sunday, 1st September 2019 at 12.45pm (local time).
LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler is supported by Eibach, Hyundai, Liqui Moly and Pagid Racing.
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