Engstler not to blame as lows replace WTCR highs
Luca Engstler’s former racing father Franz said his son’s misfiring weekend in the WTCR – FIA World Touring was not of his making.
Engstler Jr claimed a breakthrough WTCR podium in Race 2 in Germany earlier this month but left WTCR Race of Portugal with just a P12 to show for his efforts after a DNF in Race 2.
To add to his frustrations, Engstler’s Hyundai Elantra N TCR team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay retained his blue Goodyear #FollowTheLeader jacket after finishing Race 2 at Circuito do Estoril in second place.
“We are of course delighted Jean-Karl has claimed another WTCR podium, but Luca has endured a difficult event through no fault of his own,” said Franz Engstler, Team Principal of Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team. “Our results in Portugal had the potential to be much more than they were. The Hyundai Elantra N TCR demonstrated again it has the pace to fight at the front, but incidents in both races prevented us from realising this. We still have some work to do to ensure we are consistent throughout the weekend. There is a long way to go in the season, but we have to make sure we take points at every opportunity.”
Engstler Jr said: “My weekend in Portugal didn’t go as I expected. I didn’t get a proper flying lap until Qualifying, which was very difficult on a circuit I’ve never raced at before, but we managed to qualify in 11th. “The races were very busy, full of crashes. In Race 1 I felt I had the pace to be on the podium if I hadn’t been caught in the incidents on the first lap, and unfortunately after a great start in Race 2 we had to retire the car with a puncture [caused by damage from the first race].”