Monday, April 13, 2015

TCR: Positive weekend for Liqui Moly Team Engstler in Shanghai with Audi TT

By Tarek Ramchani

The Shanghai International Circuit played host to the second meeting of the TCR International Series. Liqui Moly Team Engstler entered the event with a pair of Audi TT cars. As was the case at Sepang in the opening round, TCR supported Formula One's Chinese Grand Prix.

The German team took part in the two races with team owner Franz Engstler (#6 Audi TT) and Mikhail Grachev (#8 Audi TT) showing good pace and performances.

The qualifying session gave Liqui Moly Team Engstler satisfaction. Mikhail Grachev qualified in a strong fourth position, the best non Honda driver. Franz Engstler set the eighth fastest time in the session.

In the opening race held on Saturday, Mikhail Grachev was seventh after great battles with a pair of SEAT Leons. Franz Engstler was right behind his team-mate in eighth place. The two drivers were less than ten seconds behind the winning Honda Civic.

Unfortunately Mikhail Grachev was penalized after the race for contact with Jordi Gené (SEAT Leon). He was given a 30-second penalty. The Russian driver dropped from seventh place to position fourteen. Grachev's penalty promoted Franz Engstler to position seven.

Race 1 Results are here.

Sunday's second race was a mixed one for Liqui Moly Team Engstler two Audis. Franz Engstler performed very well and challenged SEAT and Honda cars for the top spots. At the end of the 10-lap race, Franz Engstler took an honorable seventh place.

Bad luck hit Mikhail Grachev in the second race. The Russian driver of the #8 Audi TT was forced to retire after two laps.

Race 2 Results are here.

The TCR International Series will move to Europe, the next event will be held at Valencia. At the moment it's unclear if Liqui Moly Team Engstler will enter the Spanish event with the Audi TTs or switching to their new Volkswagen Golf GTIs.

Photo credit: TCR International Series