Diego Morán won Bangsaen’s Race 1 that was shortened after a three-car crash. The Ecuadorian benefited from Luca Engstler’s early spin and Pepe Oriola’s drive-through penalty. Engstler was able to recover from the spin and finished second, while Gao Hua Yang completed a Hyundai 1-2-3 and claimed his first podium result.
At the start, Engstler sprinted from pole to take the lead from Oriola and Morán, but he spun at T2 and rejoined in 7th position. The safety car was deployed to allow Jakraphan Davee, Douglas Khoo and David Lau to restart their cars after they had stalled to avoid crashing into Engstler’s spinning Hyundai.
When the race resumed, Oriola led from Morán, Kim Jin Soo, Gao, Adam Khalid and Engstler. The latter recovered quickly, overtaking Khalid, Gao and Kim, while Oriola served a drive-through for jumping the start and dropped back, handing the first place to Morán.
By lap 5, Engstler was putting the pressure on Morán, then on lap 7, Kim made a mistake at T11, hit the tyre wall and bounced back; Daniel Miranda and Davee couldn’t avoid crashing into his car. The safety car was deployed again, but with the barriers needing to be repaired, the chequered flag was waved at the end of lap 9 at completion of the 75% of the distance, with Morán the winner from Engstler, Gao and Hertner.
Despite Morán’s victory, Engstler is now just one step away from retaining the title, as he leads the standings by 25 points. Race 2 will start tomorrow at 12:45 local time (07:45 CET); live streaming at www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv.
1. Diego Morán (Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 9 laps
2. Luca Engstler (Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 0.950
3. Gao Hua Yang (Eurasia Motorsport, Hyundai i30 N), 4.092
4. Roland Hertner (Oettinger Motorsport, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 5.026
5. Douglas Khoo (Viper Niza Racing, CUPRA), 6.595
1. Engstler 206 pts
2. Morán 181
3. Oriola 138