Abu Dhabi: Altoè and Engstler shares victories in TCR Middle East series opener at Yas Marina circuit

Abu Dhabi: Altoè and Engstler shares victories in TCR Middle East series opener at Yas Marina circuit

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi – 19 / 20 January 2018

The opening event of the 2018 TCR Middle East International Series delivered a couple of eventful races at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.

Giacomo Altoè (Audi RS3 LMS run by Pit Lane Competizioni) and Luca Engstler (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTI) emerged as the race winners and left Abu Dhabi as first and second in the standings.

Altoè claimed an authoritative lights-to-flag victory in Race 1 from a trio of Golf cars driven by Mat’o Homola, Engstler and Florian Thoma.

The second race was much more exciting with a tough battle for the lead between Lorenzo Veglia, Thoma and Engstler. The three made a few contacts that forced Thoma to retire with a broken suspension while in first position and then cost Veglia a 30-second penalty for hitting and passing Engstler on the final lap.

Giacomo Altoè left Abu Dhabi as the first series’ leader with 45 point, while Engstler is second, only one point adrift. Homola lies in third position with 33 points.

The championship will resume next week (26 and 27 January) at the Dubai Autodrome for rounds 3 and 4.

Race 1 – Giacomo Altoè wins from Homola and Engstler

Giacomo Altoè converted his pole position into a victory in the opening event of the TCR Middle East International Series at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.

The Italian driver sprinted at the start in his Audi RS3 LMS and never looked back, as he was able to keep Mat’o Homola’s Volkswagen Golf GTI at bay in the first part of the race before increasing his leading gap in the final laps.
Homola was able to maintain the second place, although he was closely chased by the Liqui Moly Team Engstler duo of Luca Engstler and Florian Thoma who also delivered a thrilling fight for the third position.
Behind them, Lorenzo Veglia overtook Kai Jordan for fifth.

Key facts
Start – Giacomo Altoè uses his pole to take the lead, while Homola jumps from third to second ahead of Engstler
Lap 1 – Giovanni Altoè overtakes Jordan for fifth
Lap 2 – Jordan retakes fifth from Giovanni Altoè; Vescovi overtakes Oriola for eighth; Papantonis overtakes Ryba for 10th
Lap 3 – Giacomo Altoè leads, but is closely followed by Homola, Engstler and Thoma
Lap 4 – Oriola and Papantonis overtake Vescovi, moving up to eighth and ninth
Lap 5 – Homola sets the fastest lap in 1:14.997
Lap 6 – Veglia overtakes Giovanni Altoè for sixth
Lap 9 – Ryba pits and retires with a broken driveshaft
Lap 10 – Oriola is chasing Giovanni Altoè for the seventh position
Lap 11 – Veglia overtakes Jordan for fifth
Lap 13 – Oriola overtakes Giovanni Altoè for seventh
Lap 14 – Thoma tries to dive inside Engstler without success
Lap 16 – Giacomo Altoè stretches his leading gap to one second ahead of Homola
Lap 18 – Homola is chased by Engstler and Thoma
Lap 20 – Thoma tries again to overtake Engstler, but the latter keeps him at bay

Local entry Costa Papantonis from Mouritsa racing…

Race 2 – Veglia beats Engstler after making contact
TCR returnee Lorenzo Veglia crossed the line first at the end of a closely-fought second race at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

After taking the front at the start, Veglia led most of the race ahead of Liqui Moly Team Engstler teammates Florian Thoma and Luca Engstler. The final laps were red-hot, with Thoma trying to find a gap; on lap 15 the young Swiss clashed with Veglia at Turn 7 and took the lead ahead of Engstler. However, two laps later Thoma was forced to retire with a broken suspension.
Engstler inherited the lead, but on the last lap he and Veglia made contact; the Italian got the better of the situation and crossed the line first, with a slim margin.

Kai Jordan finished a comfortable third ahead of Race 1 winner Giacomo Altoè and Mat’o Homola.
After the race, Veglia was given a 30-second penalty for hitting Engstler on the final lap. This dropped Italian from first to eighth, while Engstler inherited victory, with Kai Jordan and Giacomo Altoè promoted to second and third respectively.

Key facts
Start – Papantonis on pole moves before the green light; Veglia and Vescovi benefit from the situation to take first and second
Lap 1 – Oriola hits Papantonis who spins and rejoins at the back
Lap 2 – Thoma overtakes Jordan for third
Lap 3 – Engstler overtakes Jordan for fourth; Homola overtakes Giovanni Altoè for seventh
Lap 4 – Thoma overtakes Vescovi for second; Giacomo Altoè overtakes his brother for eighth
Lap 5 – Engstler overtakes Vescovi for third; Veglia defends his lead from Thoma
Lap 6 – Five drivers have a close battle for fifth: Jordan, Oriola, Homola and the Altoè brothers
Lap 9 – Jordan overtakes Vescovi for fourth; Giacomo Altoè overtakes Homola for seventh
Lap 10 – Vescovi runs wide and drops from fifth to eighth behind Oriola, Giacomo Altoè and Homola
Lap 11 – Papantonis is given a drive through for jump-start
Lap 12 – Veglia, Thoma and Engstler are in a bumper-to-bumper fight for the lead
Lap 13 – Giacomo Altoè overtakes Oriola for fifth
Lap 14 – The leading trio is covered by eight tenths only
Lap 15 – Thoma hits Veglia who runs wide and drops to third behind Engstler; Thoma is the new leader
Lap 16 – Homola overtakes Oriola for seventh
Lap 17 – Thoma pits and retires from the lead with a broken suspension; Engstler inherits the lead
Lap 18 – Giovanni Altoè overtakes Vescovi for seventh
Lap 20 – Veglia and Engstler make contact; Engstler runs wide, Veglia takes the lead and wins; Jordan completes the podium

Quotes from the podium finishers in both Races
Giacomo Altoè (Race 1 winner): “I’m super happy. I was able to make a good start and I had a very good pace to keep the lead for the whole distance. The car’s set up was perfect and everything went well. I tried not to push too much in the first half of the race to save the tyres, and this helped me to stretch my gap in the final laps.”

Mat’o Homola (second in Race 1): “I made a very good start, overtaking Luca. Maybe I could have tried to pass Giacomo as well, but I had some issues with the gearbox. Then I followed him, but his car was faster on the straight and in the quick corners. I was pushing like hell, hoping that he would make a mistake, but he didn’t. Second place in the first race is good.”

Luca Engstler (Race 2 winner and third in Race 1): “These were tough races. In the first one I had a lot of understeer and lost contact with Homola in the first half. And then I had to defend my third place from Thoma. In the second race I was in the lead, braked in the usual position, turned in and Veglia crashed into the back of my car. I’m a bit angry, because he didn’t say sorry, but I’m pleased that the Stewards decided to act.”

Lorenzo Veglia: “I was very pleased and satisfied. I didn’t think I could be so competitive on my comeback to TCR after two years of GT racing. It was a tough and thrilling race. At the beginning it looked easy, because I had a small gap, but then the two Engstler boys were on my back and it was difficult to keep them behind. We made a few contacts, but it’s part of the Touring Car game. I don’t think there was something beyond the rules.”

Kay Jordan (third in Race 2): “I made e very good start and jumped to third. This gave me a big boost to fight for the position and I was able to keep a good pace for the whole race. I’m an old man and finishing ahead of young and fast drivers like Giacomo and Homola was great, especially when you think that I hadn’t raced for six months due to a problem with a leg.”

2018 TCR Middle East Series – calendar

19/20 January – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
26/27 January – Dubai Autodrome
23/24 February – Bahrain International Circuit

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8 minutes ago

MotoGP

The first win for Suzuki since Silverstone 2016! 👏

Álex Rins made the move to take himself to the top step of the podium for the first time in #MotoGP🏆

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2 hrs ago

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A look back at all the funny moments of #missingtheapex from the #AmericasGP 🇺🇸

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Love it! 😁❤️

this scene makes me happy🤣

I'm so happy watching marq marquez crash

Robin Berumen

Marquez 93 best rider👍💯% motogp champion🏆

👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Adegan utamanya keren😂😂😂😂

Aidil Uzair 😂

I'll forever LOVE this one. Because my Twitter post made it at the 1:51 minute mark lol🤓🤓🤓

after watch this i learn lesson from marc. marc be like "you can make fun of me, but ill break the point record"

Marc Marquez ❤️ 93 ✌🏻😍

Ud

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7 hrs ago

CircuitProDigital

Photograph: Foto Speedy
............................

HTP Mercedes takes 2019 Gulf 12 Hours pole position

The #48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 took provisional pole position in an exciting end to the qualifying session for the 2019 Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

With pole position secured by recording the average time of the three 15-minute qualifying sessions, Mercedes AMG factory driver Maximilian Götz climbed into the car for the third and final session, taking over from team-mates Dominik Baumann and Al Faisal Al Zubair. Sitting in third place overall, Götz was behind the Pro-Am #20 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and #66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3 Pro car.

With all 31 cars searching for a space on track in the final moments, many drivers were suffering with traffic, but with only five minutes remaining, the timesheets began to change and Götz managed to put the #48 Mercedes to the top of the average times.

The Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo, which finished top of the previous day’s night testing, was now again in the hands of Patrick Kujala, and the Finland driver produced an outstanding lap of 2m08.450s, the quickest of the third session, to lift the car up to pole position.

His car’s average time was bettered, however, shortly after as Götz managed to find a clear lap through the traffic to regain top spot. Despite his best efforts, Kujala was unable to respond and had to settle for second place but on the front row of the grid ahead of the #66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3 and #83 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3. It was an impressive recovery from the #48 HTP Mercedes after it suffered an oil pump failure in Wednesday’s test session which led to a new engine flown in overnight from Germany.

The #46 Pro-Am Ferrari 488 GT3 of Monster VR46 Kessel was in need of a helping hand after the second qualifying session, lying just inside the top ten. But with Valentino Rossi at the wheel, setting a personal best session time of 2m09.589s, it vaulted the car up to seventh place and the fourth row of the grid for Saturday’s race.

The #12 Art Line Team Georgia Lamborghini Super Trofeo took pole position in the GT Cup 1 class, in eighth place overall, two-tenths of a second ahead of the 10th place #88 Dragon Racing Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

The GT3 AM class will be headed by Mercedes machinery, as the #10 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes AMG took pole on row six, two places ahead of the #84 AKKA ASP Mercedes AMG, with the #65 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 in third.

The #2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 won the pole battle in the Prototype class ahead of the #4 ARC Bratislava Ginetta P3.

The #14 MRS GT Racing Porsche Cup car secured pole position in the GT Cup 2 class ahead of the #87 GDL Racing Porsche.

The GT4 class was headed by the #90 SVC Sport Management Mercedes AMG, ahead of the British duo #22 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 570S, and David Appleby Engineering Aston Martin Vantage.

The 2019 Gulf 12 Hours will begin at 09:30 local time (GMT +4), and can be viewed on the Gulf 12 Hours YouTube channel, and Facebook page.



Maximilian Götz (#48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3):

“We possibly went out too late as I was stuck behind traffic on the out lap so I wasn’t able manage the tyres how I wanted. The first lap was okay, but it’s always the second and third laps that are the best. I had to drop back again so I just wasn’t finding the rhythm. But finally on the penultimate lap, I was able to find the best gap and I’m happy that it took us back to the top of the times. It’s a cool feeling. But there was definitely more in the car for us to be more ahead than we were.



“My team-mates did an amazing job. It’s special being on pole, but especially at a race and circuit like this.



“It’s my first time driving at Yas Marina Circuit. I went out and immediately felt at home. I’ve been doing thousands of laps on the computer at home and I really knew every turning-in point and gears.



“The balance of the car definitely changes throughout the race in the hotter and cooler temperatures in the second half of the race. So it’s all about the tyre pressures and being in the right window, as you don’t get chance to change anything else on the car. We did some testing of pressures in the night testing yesterday [Thursday], so we think we know where we should be.



“I think I’ll be starting the race, and keeping the lead will of course be important. But it’s a long-distance race, we shouldn’t touch in the first corners so we will try to keep ahead and to create a gap to hand over to Dominik.”



Patrick Kujala (#77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo):

“The main thing was to get out in clear space because the track and air temperature went down, so the peak of the tyres will last longer, one or two laps. So we knew that track position was key. That played an important part and we were able to pull out a good lap. It was a decent lap.

“I will probably be starting the race. It isn’t a sprint race, so I won’t be doing anything stupid. But of course, if there’s a chance to take the lead, I’m going to go for it.”
... See Less

Photograph: Foto Speedy
............................

HTP Mercedes takes 2019 Gulf 12 Hours pole position

The #48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 took provisional pole position in an exciting end to the qualifying session for the 2019 Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

With pole position secured by recording the average time of the three 15-minute qualifying sessions, Mercedes AMG factory driver Maximilian Götz climbed into the car for the third and final session, taking over from team-mates Dominik Baumann and Al Faisal Al Zubair. Sitting in third place overall, Götz was behind the Pro-Am #20 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and #66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3 Pro car.

With all 31 cars searching for a space on track in the final moments, many drivers were suffering with traffic, but with only five minutes remaining, the timesheets began to change and Götz managed to put the #48 Mercedes to the top of the average times.

The Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo, which finished top of the previous day’s night testing, was now again in the hands of Patrick Kujala, and the Finland driver produced an outstanding lap of 2m08.450s, the quickest of the third session, to lift the car up to pole position.

His car’s average time was bettered, however, shortly after as Götz managed to find a clear lap through the traffic to regain top spot. Despite his best efforts, Kujala was unable to respond and had to settle for second place but on the front row of the grid ahead of the #66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3 and #83 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3. It was an impressive recovery from the #48 HTP Mercedes after it suffered an oil pump failure in Wednesday’s test session which led to a new engine flown in overnight from Germany.

The #46 Pro-Am Ferrari 488 GT3 of Monster VR46 Kessel was in need of a helping hand after the second qualifying session, lying just inside the top ten. But with Valentino Rossi at the wheel, setting a personal best session time of 2m09.589s, it vaulted the car up to seventh place and the fourth row of the grid for Saturday’s race.

The #12 Art Line Team Georgia Lamborghini Super Trofeo took pole position in the GT Cup 1 class, in eighth place overall, two-tenths of a second ahead of the 10th place #88 Dragon Racing Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

The GT3 AM class will be headed by Mercedes machinery, as the #10 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes AMG took pole on row six, two places ahead of the #84 AKKA ASP Mercedes AMG, with the #65 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 in third.

The #2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 won the pole battle in the Prototype class ahead of the #4 ARC Bratislava Ginetta P3.

The #14 MRS GT Racing Porsche Cup car secured pole position in the GT Cup 2 class ahead of the #87 GDL Racing Porsche.

The GT4 class was headed by the #90 SVC Sport Management Mercedes AMG, ahead of the British duo #22 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 570S, and David Appleby Engineering Aston Martin Vantage.

The 2019 Gulf 12 Hours will begin at 09:30 local time (GMT +4), and can be viewed on the Gulf 12 Hours YouTube channel, and Facebook page.

 

Maximilian Götz (#48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3):

“We possibly went out too late as I was stuck behind traffic on the out lap so I wasn’t able manage the tyres how I wanted. The first lap was okay, but it’s always the second and third laps that are the best. I had to drop back again so I just wasn’t finding the rhythm. But finally on the penultimate lap, I was able to find the best gap and I’m happy that it took us back to the top of the times. It’s a cool feeling. But there was definitely more in the car for us to be more ahead than we were.

 

“My team-mates did an amazing job. It’s special being on pole, but especially at a race and circuit like this.

 

“It’s my first time driving at Yas Marina Circuit. I went out and immediately felt at home. I’ve been doing thousands of laps on the computer at home and I really knew every turning-in point and gears.

 

“The balance of the car definitely changes throughout the race in the hotter and cooler temperatures in the second half of the race. So it’s all about the tyre pressures and being in the right window, as you don’t get chance to change anything else on the car. We did some testing of pressures in the night testing yesterday [Thursday], so we think we know where we should be.

 

“I think I’ll be starting the race, and keeping the lead will of course be important. But it’s a long-distance race, we shouldn’t touch in the first corners so we will try to keep ahead and to create a gap to hand over to Dominik.”

 

Patrick Kujala (#77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo):

“The main thing was to get out in clear space because the track and air temperature went down, so the peak of the tyres will last longer, one or two laps. So we knew that track position was key. That played an important part and we were able to pull out a good lap. It was a decent lap.

“I will probably be starting the race. It isn’t a sprint race, so I won’t be doing anything stupid. But of course, if there’s a chance to take the lead, I’m going to go for it.”

8 hrs ago

MotoGP

2019 Best clips 📽️

Still challenging with the best riders in the world! 🥈 Valentino Rossi VR46 Official's podium in Austin was nothing short of remarkable 👏

#AmericasGP 🇺🇸
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The best part of the race was cocky Marc with his special wanted helmet for the race was when he wrecked then they picked the bike up and it slowly fell back over on him LOL Im a Vale fan but that was a great showdown and seeing Alex cry for his first victory was great!

Hope Rossi can fight for wins next year. Its getting really boring without him up there.

The best marques

Come on marquez, another world title!!!

Nice one

marc is the best..💪

Where the hell is real champ MM93

Maybe a lot of changes next season...

Rossi!!!!!🔥🔥🔥🔥

He still first place for me😍

Go vale

Booooooooooooooooring 😴😴😴😴😴

Bravo Vale....👍👍👍👍

93nius rider

Legend....

Yeah ok

🔥

nice

Awesome

Salute The Doctor. Kiddos know nothing about The Lagend

👍👍👍

Marc Márquez

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19 hrs ago

F1

That Alex Albon is so cheeky 😂 ... See Less

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Omg! I love this duo so much! Never fail to make me laugh 😂

Actually I don't Like Alex' sense of humor :/ he is imo too arrogant

Why in the hell did Merc haven't done Grill the Grid?

If he think that one is bad i wonder what he think of the rookie of the year one ! 👀

Alex very honest! I like that

Congratulations

If he thought that trophy was crap, think how he must of felt about the rookie of the year trophy 😂

Is it just me or does anybody else wanna punch max in the fuckin face as hard as u could??

Congrats 😎

Did he say Sonny Moore at 0:28?

😂😂😂😂😂The speech

Lmao Hilarious

Sarah Jones

Celine Maddie

Nikko Par

Mary Valdez

Aalay Savla Mercedes DNS

Hgfgg

Ricardo Ruiz

While you patiently waiting for your monthly salary, others are busy earning nothing less than $500- $10000 every 48hours, Ask me how????

Alex Albon 💙

Rahul Kale Nuaman Wt

Max verstappen redbull

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