Coming-of-age performance puts WTCR Junior Engstler in the frame
Luca Engstler’s breakthrough WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup podium might have signalled his emergence as a frontrunner in the series, but it also came on the back of a “stupid” drive from the 21-year-old.
Despite the enormity of his second-place finish on the 25.378-kilometre Nürburgring Nordschleife, the German talent reckoned he should have done even better in the Goodyear-equipped Hyundai Elantra N TCR run by his family team.
“It was difficult here at the Nordschleife bringing everything together,” Engstler said after finishing second to team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay in Race 2. “I was attacking from the first to the last lap, I wanted this victory and to be honest I was probably a bit too young and stupid in over-driving. But we are here with a one-two.”
Engstler’s podium was the best performance of his short WTCR career by far and the Bavarian was quick to praise the work of his Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team.
“Big thanks to the team, to Hyundai, for giving us an amazing car this weekend,” Engstler said. “I think [raceday] definitely was a gamble and we gambled in the right spot, we put everything on dry [weather]. But I think if there had been some rain drops we would definitely have been far back and we decided to put everything on the dry car. That’s the reason why we were there.”
Looking ahead to the upcoming events, Engstler added: “We come to tracks I’ve never been before. I just want to keep working hard, I want to keep the momentum. I just enjoy being a driver preparing for races and I will keep doing that.”
Engstler completed the Nürburgring Nordschleife weekend by finishing second in class in the ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen event, sharing a Hyundai i30 N TCR with Vernay and Hendrik Still. Their team-mates Marc Basseng, Manuel Lauck and Moritz Oestreich claimed the category victory in a Elantra N TCR.