TCR Middle East: Wins for Luca Engstler and Brandon Gdovic in Dubai
Luca Engstler and Brandon Gdovic are the winners of two races of the first round of the inaugural TCR Middle East Series at Dubai Autodrome. Both the 16-year-old German and the 24-year-old American are the drivers of Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Volkswagwen Golfs.
Luca Engstler has won his first touring car race in a career after starting from pole in the #8 Volkswagen Golf GTI. He lost the lead at the start to his teammate Mato Homola, but the Slovakian driver was penalized because of false start and he dropped to the sixth place at the end. Michela Cerruti had a great race in the #88 Alfa Romeo Giulietta of Mulsanne Racing, scoring the first ever podium for this car. Another Engstler’s teammate, Brandon Gdovic in the #46 car, reached the last podium spot.
The second race was supposed to be started with Kane Astin’s Red Camel Seat Leon in pole position, but he went into the pits at the end of the formation lap. Filip Sladecka (Liqui Moly Team Engstler) took the lead ahead of James Kaye in the Cadspeed Racing’s Audi RS3 LMS and and Mato Homola. Kaye and Sladecka clashed while fighting for the lead. That resulted with a time penalty for Kaye so he lost his third place. Brandon Gdovic progressed into the lead in final laps, winning the race ahead of Homola and Sladecka.
The TCR Middle East Series will resume at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit on February 9-10. The final round is scheduled for March 9-10 at Bahrain International Circuit.