Mixed Sunday for Michelle Halder in ADAC TCR Germany
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
In the first of seven weekends for TCR Germany's Michelle Halder, an engine failure started off the Lausitzring weekend on the wrong foot - but it did not stop the young German to fight back with a very solid second race.
The 5th season of the ADAC TCR Germany went underway this weekend at Lausitzring, in support of the GT Masters championship which made its first appearance of the 2020 season. 8 teams with 13 drivers lined up on the grid: among them it was Michelle Halder, the only woman in the field. Michelle is the 2019 Junior Champion and will try to defend her title against some young and promising drivers.
Last year's overall champion Max Hesse will not be back to defend his title this year, but his 2019 rivals Harald Proczyk, Mike Halder and Antti Buri will assume the title fight, with maybe some more surprises throughout the season.
Michelle Halder's Saturday was hindered by bad luck: after the first free practice, Michelle suffered an engine failure and her team managed to change the engine in her car in just three hours. She finished the qualifying session in seventh place - that meant she would start the second race from P2, while she had to enter race one from the back of the field due to the engine failure.
Nico Gruber had the better start, passed Buri and led the race right ahead of Mike Halder, who came through from P6. After a Safety Car phase triggered by Albert Legutko's car stuck in the gravel, Gruber defended his lead ahead of Buri and took the chequered flag to win the opening race of the season.
Behind him, Mike Halder passed Buri for second position, as the Finnish driver could not respond back and finished third.
Michelle Halder battled hard and was stuck behind Marcel Fugel, who defended his position hard but fair and did not leave any room for the young lady driver to pass him. She finished the first race in P11.
In the second race, Michelle Halder started from P2 and had a great start that catapulted her into the lead, before Dominik Fugel - who had previously passed Mike Halder and René Kircher - overtook Michelle.
Michelle lost out to Mike, Proczyk and Buri as well shortly after, as she tried to keep her Honda Civic TCR unscratched despite keeping up the pace with the driver in front.
Mike Halder had some misfortune as a stone collided with his radiator and resulted in the loss of cooling water and thus temperatures skyrocketing - until the power was gone and he was out of the race.
Fugel pulled away while Proczyk and Buri fought for second place; the Austrian defended his position against the Finn. Michelle Halder, who lost the contact with the duo in front, was passed by Gruber for P4. She finished the race in a positive fifth position.
"With a 5th place in the second race, I am now heading back home 🏡
What a first weekend 🙈
Many thanks to my team for the great work on the weekend 😇 especially also to my brother 😇😌 many thanks also to you for your great support 🥰🤩"