TCR Germany test: Proczyk sets the pace in the Opel
Volkswagen dominates four of six test sessions, but in the overall standings Opel is right at the front – drivers and teams master dress rehearsal for season opener
The season can come: With six test sessions on Monday and Tuesday, the drivers of TCR Germany got in the right mood for the start of the third season of the touring car series in a good three weeks. Three brands set the best times among themselves. Four VW Golf GTI TCR cars were in the lead, one Opel Astra TCR and one Audi RS3 LMS each. On the weekend from 13. till 15. April finally starts – also in the Motorsport Arena in Oschersleben. SPORT1 will show the races of TCR Germany on TV.
Drivers, teams and fans are looking forward to the start of the season. And the official test in the Magdeburger Börde already whetted the appetite for more. The VW Golf GTI TCR, which was at the top in four sessions, left a particularly strong impression. Florian Thoma (Team Engstler), twice rookie champion Luca Engstler (Team Engstler) and Benjamin Leuchter (Max Kruse Racing) both set best times in golf.
However, Harald Proczyk (HP Racing International) managed the fastest lap in the Opel Astra TCR in 1:31.995 minutes. Second fastest was Niels Langeveld (Racing One) in the Audi RS3 LMS in 1:32.068 minutes, Luca Engstler in the VW Golf GTI TCR in 1:32.172 managed the third best lap. But only Proczyk, runner-up of the 2016 premiere season, broke the 1:32.00 minute mark and underlined that he is to be expected this year.
“I don’t think Opel has ever been so fast here,” says the Austrian with a smile: “We tried many different things until we found a really fast set-up” At the same time Proczyk praises his young team mate Luke Wankmüller (HP Racing International), who “does a sensationally good job”, as the 42-year-old points out.
Wankmüller made it into the Top 10 several times right from the start: “The season can definitely come. I’m super happy and looking forward to the start here,” says the 16-year-old, who will compete in the Rookie Challenge. Max Hesse in the Audi, Marcel Fugel in a Honda Civic TCR, Loris Prattes in the Cupra TCR and VW driver Justin Häußermann are also in the classification for young drivers. The winner of the Rookie Challenge will receive a new Honda Civic.
Team Racing One was also satisfied with Niels Langeveld, the second fastest driver of the test days: “It was a great test, very informative,” said team boss Martin Kohlhaas, “The car ran absolutely flawlessly, so we were able to collect a lot of important data. Niels spoke of the title, and I think we can be at the top this year.”