It was a perfect ending to a very interesting year in TCR Asia Series for LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler claiming a double clean sweep of podium finishes to claim the top honours – the Driver’s Championship and the Team Championship wins as well as claiming the Car Model of the Year award for Volkswagen, on Friday at Shanghai International Circuit.
“It was one of those days where everything just fell into place for us and for it to happen during the finale was incredible. We are once again the Champion, this time taking both the Team’s and Driver’s Championship wins for TCR Asia Series in its 2018 season. We are also happy for Volkswagen, our trusted car partner for being awarded the Car Model of the Year Award” said Kurt Treml, Sport Director LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler.
Luca Engstler can now add TCR Asia Series Champion to his already growing titles in 2018 – TCR Middle East Champion and ADAC TCR Germany vice-champion. “I am more than happy and the team did an amazing job. We started with 24-hours race in Dubai which we could win, then winning the TCR Middle East was just a nice feeling and then to Germany we had a really good result finishing second in the Championship and now winning in Asia as well it is just perfect. It just couldn’t be better.
“Now I am looking forward to the SIC888 with my teammates Diego and Theo and I think we are going to do a good job and we will see what comes out in the end but I think we have to fight for a win and everyone is doing everything to be on the top again”.
TCR Asia Series was held on a Friday instead of the usual weekend race to make way for the Inaugural SIC-888, an endurance race where LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler will enter one car, the Championship winning TCR Middle East Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR, which will be driven by Luca Engstler, Diego Moran and Frenchman, Theo Coicaud.
20-year old Sepang International Circuit’s Talent Development Programme Driver, Mitchell Cheah fought well over the back-to-back qualifying and races claiming one pole position and finishing both races in second place, to end the 2018 TCR Asia Series season in 2nd place. “Since the beginning of TCR Asia Series, I have improved myself and have learnt a lot from the team, the people around me, the mechanics and engineers, and even from the Team Manager. I am really glad to have come this far and learnt the things I did not know of.
“I am really happy with my own performance today, that I qualified pole and managed double P2s in both races. Even though I lost out on the Championship, it’s been a long journey and I am really happy with the results I got for this Series this year”.
Catching up and finishing third on the Championship is Diego Moran, the Ecuadorian has had a tough season this year, more so than the last but to have climbed back up to finish the season on a high was a proud moment. “We finished the season in 3rd place and it is not a bad result even though I was expecting to have a better place but this season has been quite difficult for me. I started the season with a big crash in Malaysia and also a couple of races with zero points which leaves me at the end with a lot of lost points which I couldn’t recover.
“I feel there has been a lot of learning for me this season. I was racing with two young and talented drivers and I think I learnt a lot from them. I am also quite happy with my performance, improving every time and considering the limited time I have in the car it was quite good.
“Right now I am looking forward to the endurance race and I hope we can get a first place there” ended Moran.
The team’s celebration will have to wait until later in the weekend as the team is busy preparing for the SIC888.
“The weekend is not over yet. We have a lot more to do and we are definitely looking forward for another opportunity to race at this circuit. We will do our best” said Treml.
Theo Coicaud, who races with LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler in the ADAC TCR Germany, will join both Engstler and Moran for the endurance race. “Looking forward to race with them and I will do my best. We just finished the TCR Germany which I think is quite a good preparation, I also train my cardio because it is going to be a long run and I never did that before, only 30-minute races so I just trained to do this long stint”. This will be the first race the 19-year old has had outside of Europe and he is looking forward to the race in Shanghai.
LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler have completed the TCR Asia Series as Team and Driver Champions for the third year running with Andy Yan in 2016, Kantadhee Kusiri in 2017 and now Luca Engstler in 2018, all using the highly successful Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR which was awarded the Car Model of the Year for 2018. Malaysian Mitchell Cheah completed the season in 2nd with Ecuadorian Diego Moran coming in third once more in the Series.
The team will remain in Shanghai for its participation in the SIC888 with the Championship winning TCR Middle East Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR driven by Luca Engstler, Diego Moran and Frenchman, Theo Coicaud.
The team is supported by Liqui Moly, Remus, VW Motorsport, Pagid Racing, Drexler drivetrain, Motec rims, Recaro and Eibach.
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