TCR Germany: Mike Halder postpones title decision
Fifth victory of the season for Josh Files in TCR Germany at the Sachsenring – Mike Halder postpones the championship decision to Hockenheim with second place
Josh Files has won the twelfth race of the touring car series at the Sachsenring, but his rival Mike Halder was second, so the title fight will not be decided until next weekend in Hockenheim.Honda Civic TCR driver Files now has 357 points, 78 more than Seat Leon TCR driver Mike Halder – the final at Hockenheim marks the climax in the exciting duel for the title.
“Why does Mike have to do this to me?”says Files laughing:”No, seriously.Of course he wants to win, so do I.The championship is important, but the most fun I have when I win races.That is the main focus.The car was great, so was the fight between Mike and me.But by the end, I had everything under control.”
Kris Richard finished third, followed by local hero Steve Kirsch and Sheldon van der Linde, who had celebrated his first victory in the Audi RS3 LMS the day before.Luca Engstler finished sixth in the VW Golf GTI TCR, the leader of the rookie challenge celebrated another success in the junior class.Runner-up runner-up Harald Proczyk followed in seventh place ahead of Florian Thoma in the VW as well as the two Audi drivers Antti Buri and Max Hofer.
Mike Halder exerts pressure
Files, who had entered the race from pole position, started strongly and set himself apart from the competition.Halder, on the other hand, immediately went on to pursue him: the ADAC Stiftung-Sport-Förderpilot worked his way from fifth place on the grid to third, overtook Richard and finished second at the start of the second round.
And Halder, who had already announced in advance that he would want to annoy files, put pressure on the champion.The 21-year-old came closer to the Honda Civic TCR of the British, round after round, but the hunted man also held resolutely against it.The duel, which the fans had already witnessed several times this year, continued at first: Halder put pressure on, Files tried to ward off the attacks.And with success: In the second phase of the race, the man from Norwich dropped away again, Halder concentrated on defending his second place.
“I won’t give up,”Halder says militantly.”That was a very good race.I had a great start, was able to overtake Kris Richard and took second place.I pushed hard to catch up with Josh and got closer to him in between.But my front tires have been dismantled after halfway through the race and I couldn’t quite follow Josh’s pace in the end.”
“I’ve scored points for the championship, which is still not finalized.Next week I will attack again, because of course it would still be nice to get first one day.I’ve been on the podium quite often so far, always second or third, never first.We fight hard and maybe we’ll succeed at Hockenheim.”
Many position battles in the field
Behind it there were numerous battles for positions, and Steve Kirsch quickly became the first to follow the lead trio.For the local hero, who had retired the day before, the home game ended with a good fourth place, which was a conciliatory ending.Van der Linde, who also competes in the GT-Masters alongside his brother Kelvin, fought back the attacks of Luca Engstler and was once again the best Audi, while Hari Proczyk confirmed his upward trend from the past weeks at the Sachsenring.
“I didn’t do too much harakiri in the race, but took points for the overall standings,”says Engstler, who was the best rookie in sixth place,”My focus is on the overall standings.Now the goal is to be the fastest golf course and to score many points in the overall ranking.I’m going home today, I’m going to school on Monday and Tuesday and then I’m off to Hockenheim.”
The decision in the touring car series will therefore be made next weekend at the grand final in Hockenheim.Ideally, 85 points are to be awarded there, so Halder still has a chance to win the title.