TCR Malaysia Championship 26 January 2019, Engstler extends championship advantage | Drive Safe and Fast

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Published on January 27th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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TCR Malaysia Championship 26 January 2019, Engstler extends championship advantage

Points leader Luca Engstler has enjoyed a perfect run at Sepang for the second event of TCR Malaysia, the German Hyundai driver carding the top qualifying time in slippery conditions before prevailing once more in both torrential rain and under lights on the iconic Grand Prix circuit. A single day event with two practice sessions closely followed by qualifying meant teams needed to be on their game with experience playing a strong hand. With two wins under his belt from the previous weekend, it was no surprise that Luca Engstler continued to set the pace, although he concluded session one just half a second clear of TCR Germany team-mate Kai Jordan, with local hero Douglas Khoo third fastest. Engstler sat out the second session, paving the way for a great battle for the top spot between Khoo, Prince Racing Honda driver Kenneth Lau, and new Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen recruits Brendan Paul Anthony and Ahmad Azlee.

Khoo prevailed to set the fastest time, but it was Engstler who returned to the top of the timesheets in the opening 20-minute qualifier, although his pace was down on the best of the previous weekend, his 2:17.243 just three tenths clear of the impressive Jordan. Douglas Khoo maintained his outstanding TCR Malaysia performance with the third fastest time, from Brutal Fish Racing’s Martin Ryba. Light rain fell ahead of the second leg of qualifying, and with little time to make any more adjustments than tyres, Luca Engstler stretched his advantage over his rivals to 3.5-seconds, with KCMG team-boss Paul Ip advancing to the front row for the start of round three, Jordan dropping back to P3 alongside Kenneth Lau.

Round#3 (7-laps)

Intermittent rain continued ahead of the start of round three, but despite leaving pit lane on the control Yokohama wet weather tyres, every team elected to change to slicks in the late afternoon heat as the circuit started to dry.. It was a decision which would ultimately have a big impact on the result! Off the standing start Engstler maintained his lead from Ip, but by turn four it was Jordan who held second. The two Liqui Moly Team Engstler cars broke away from the pack, as behind them Martin Ryba began his move forward to be fourth by the end of the opening lap.

Sadly for Michael Soong, the woes continued for the second of the Engstler Hyundai’s, the Hong Kong-based driver pushed behind the wall with an ongoing technical issue which would impact both races. Douglas Khoo was the next to strike trouble, the Viper Niza Racing Cupra driver spinning in the final corner, which ultimately prompted a visit to pit lane as light rain started to fall.

That also prompted Ahmad Azlee and Michael Choi to make a change as the rain intensified, a situation which ultimately saw the field brought under the control of the Safety Car on lap five, the race director in the end faced with no other choice but to declare the race two laps later as the rain got heavier. That gave Engstler his third win of the season – albeit on half points – with Jordan a well deserved second and Paul Ip third. Martin Ryba was classified fourth and third in TCR Cup, with TCR rookie Brendan Paul Anthony an impressive fifth from a rear-of-field start. Kenneth Lau was sixth, continuing his improvement in the new FK8 Civic, whilst Ahmad Azlee, Douglas Khoo and Michael Choi were lamenting an early decision to pit and change back to wet weather tyres.

Round#4 (11-laps)

The circuit was declared wet for the second race, with all teams starting on wets despite the fact the rain had stopped. That made things a little challenging across the early laps, but for Engstler, it played into his hands, the Hyundai driver second by turn four and around pole-sitter Martin Ryba for the lead by turn eight, the #8 Liqui Moly entry then delivering a fantastic display of wet weather driving to cross the line some 31 seconds clear of Kai Jordan.

Behind the two Liqui Moly Team Engstler drivers, Martin Ryba held on to third for a brief spell before Brendan Paul Anthony put his extensive local experience to good use to charge again from rear-of-field to be third by lap two and comfortably in control of his podium position. In the end he crossed the line eight seconds back from Jordan, and eight seconds clear of Douglas Khoo who drove well in the conditions to once again secure a TCR Cup podium finish and a strong haul of championship points.

Martin Ryba took the iconic Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen to fifth, in the process moving to third in championship points, whilst Michael Choi and Kenneth Lau gained more valuable points in the two Prince Racing Hondas. Sadly for Ahmad Azlee, despite running strongly with the two Prince Racing entries, his event came to an end on the penultimate lap and he was declared a non-finisher, whilst Paul Ip ran off at turn one, and was forced to retire the #51 KCMG Honda early in proceedings.

Teams now enjoy a four week break until the final event of the season, with rounds five and six of TCR Malaysia scheduled for February 23-24 at Sepang International Circuit.

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Round#3/4 – 2019 TCR Malaysia Championship (26 January, 2019)

Qualifying#1 (20-minutes)

  1. 8. Luca Engstler (GER) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30N TCR – 2:17.243
  2. 3. Kai Jordan (GER) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* – 2:17.537
  3. 65. Douglas Khoo (MAS) – Viper Niza Racing Seat Cupra TCR* – 2:18.448
  4. 17. Martin Ryba (SVK) – Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* – 2:19.566
  5. 51. Paul Ip (HKG) – KCMG Honda Civic FK8 TCR* – 2:19.577
  6. 7. Michael Choi (HKG) – Prince Racing Honda Civic FK8 TCR* – 2:19.635
  7. 2. Kenneth Lau (HKG) – Prince Racing Honda Civic FK8 TCR* – 2:20.250
  8. 26. Michael Soong (HKG) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30N TCR* – 2:20.409
  9. 5. Ahmad Azlee (MAS) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* – 2:20.410
  10. 22. Brendan Paul Anthony (MAS) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler VW Golf GTi TCR* – NTR

*TCR Cup

 

Qualifying#2 (10-minutes)

  1. 8. Luca Engstler (GER) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30N TCR – 2:35.482
  2. 51. Paul Ip (HKG) – KCMG Honda Civic FK8 TCR* – 2:38.980
  3. 3. Kai Jordan (GER) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* – 2:39.701
  4. 2. Kenneth Lau (HKG) – Prince Racing Honda Civic FK8 TCR* – 2:40.221
  5. 26. Michael Soong (HKG) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30N TCR* – 2:40.449
  6. 65. Douglas Khoo (MAS) – Viper Niza Racing Seat Cupra TCR* – 2:41.611
  7. 7. Michael Choi (HKG) – Prince Racing Honda Civic FK8 TCR* – 2:42.932
  8. 17. Martin Ryba (SVK) – Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* – 2:44.046

*TCR Cup

 

Race#1 (7-laps – declared)

  1. 8. Luca Engstler (GER) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30N TCR
  2. 3. Kai Jordan (GER) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* +6.429
  3. 51. Paul Ip (HKG) – KCMG Honda Civic FK8 TCR* +19.550
  4. 17. Martin Ryba (SVK) – Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* +46.110
  5. 22. Brendan Paul Anthony (MAS) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler VW Golf GTi TCR* +48.475
  6. 2. Kenneth Lau (HKG) – Prince Racing Honda Civic FK8 TCR* +49.181
  7. 5. Ahmad Azlee (MAS) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* +1:04.935
  8. 65. Douglas Khoo (MAS) – Viper Niza Racing Seat Cupra TCR* – 6-laps
  9. 7. Michael Choi (HKG) – Prince Racing Honda Civic FK8 TCR* – 6-laps

 

DNF. 26. Michael Soong (HKG) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30N TCR – 0-laps

*TCR Cup

 

Race#2 (11-laps)

  1. 8. Luca Engstler (GER) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30N TCR
  2. 3. Kai Jordan (GER) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* +31.433
  3. 22. Brendan Paul Anthony (MAS) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler VW Golf GTi TCR* +39.483
  4. 65. Douglas Khoo (MAS) – Viper Niza Racing Seat Cupra TCR* +47.810
  5. 17. Martin Ryba (SVK) – Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* +48.678
  6. 7. Michael Choi (HKG) – Prince Racing Honda Civic FK8 TCR* +51.595
  7. 2. Kenneth Lau (HKG) – Prince Racing Honda Civic FK8 TCR* +1:24.181

 

DNF. 5. Ahmad Azlee (MAS) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR* – 10-laps

DNF. 51. Paul Ip (HKG) – KCMG Honda Civic FK8 TCR* – 5-laps

DNS. 26. Michael Soong (HKG) – Liqui Moly Team Engstler Hyundai i30N TCR – 0-laps

*TCR Cup

 

TCR Malaysia Driver’s Championship points (after four rounds of six)

  1. Luca Engstler (96.5-points), 3. Kai Jordan (55), 3. Martin Ryba (35), 4. Robb Huff (33), 5. Douglas Khoo (32), 6. Paul Ip (21.5), 7. Brendan Paul Anthony (20), 7. Adam Khalid (20), 9. Charlie Kang (19), 10. Michael Choi (14), 10. Kenneth Lau (14), 12. Henry Kwong (8), 13. Ahmad Azlee (3), 13. Theo Coicaud (3), 15. Michael Soong (1), 15. Gary Cheung (1), 17. David Lau (0)

 

TCR Malaysia Series Cup Driver’s Championship points (after four rounds of six)

  1. Kai Jordan (76.5-points), 2. Martin Ryba (52.5), 3. Douglas Khoo (48), 4. Paul Ip (31), 5. Adam Khalid (30), 6. Charlie Kang (29), 7. Brendan Paul Anthony (24), 7. Michael Choi (24), 7. Kenneth Lau (24), 10. Henry Kwong (16), 11. Ahmad Azlee (4), 11. Gary Cheung (4), 13. Michael Soong (2), 14. David Lau (0)

 

TCR Malaysia Team’s Championship points (after four rounds of six)

  1. Liqui Moly Team Engstler (154.5-points), 2. Prince Racing (48), 3. Viper Niza Racing (40), 4. Brutal Fish Racing Team (39), 5. TeamWork Motorsport (35), 6. KCMG (23.5), 7. Indigo Racing (19), 8. Maximum Racing (4)

 

TCR Malaysia Car Model of the Year Championship points (after four rounds of six)

  1. Hyundai (118.5-points), 2. Volkswagen (117), 3. Honda (72.5), 4. Cupra (36)

 

2019 TCR Malaysia – calendar

Rnd#1/#2, 19-20 January – Sepang, Malaysia

Rnd#3/#4, 26 January – Sepang, Malaysia

Rnd#5/#6, 23-24 February – Sepang, Malaysia


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