4e9074cc 28ea 4f75 9ef3 9e5eb2671835As a result of two great races at the Hockenheimring Niels Langeveld has concluded the ADAC TCR Germany championship in third. The Dutch racing driver crossed the finish line in fourth on Saturday while a hard-fought second position in the second race on Sunday brought his points total up to 403. With that, Langeveld completed a very strong season with a podium position in the final standings. Harald Proczyk is the 2018 champion, with Luca Engstler finishing as the runner-up. Langeveld is proud of his achievements this season: "Harald is the true champion as he made the least mistakes. I have been on the podium seven times in fourteen races, won twice and finished all the races. That this was not enough for me to claim the title says all about the competitiveness of ADAC TCR Germany!"

Trailing Luca Engstler by eleven points and Harald Proczyk by six, Niels Langeveld knew that he wasn't in control of winning the championship at the final round at the Hockenheimring. Getting the most out of the weekend would be his goal and so a top result in qualifying was of great importance. In the first session that worked out fine, Langeveld taking second in his racing one Audi and going on to the second session. In this session, the top-twelve qualifies for the first race and, very importantly, the top-ten also determines the reversed starting grid for the second race. In the second session, however, the Audi RS3 LMS’s tyre pressure wasn’t what it was supposed to be, leaving Langeveld to be satisfied with eighth starting position for race one and third for race two.

An engine change for Luke Wankmüller and a penalty for Benjamin Leuchter allowed Niels Langeveld to start the first race from sixth. His start was perfect, the Dutchman gaining two positions on the first lap. This meant that the top three were within reach but just when he was ready to attack his title opponent Luca Engstler he came under fire from Antti Buri. Langeveld had to make every effort to keep the Finnish street fighter behind him and that worked out fine, even though Buri was able to put his Audi's nose next to the racing one Audi every now and then. Langeveld, however, drove excellent lines and was able to stave off every attack. Then, on lap 12, Buri made contact with the car behind him and got stuck in the gravel. That took away the pressure from behind and Langeveld was able to fight his way back to the top three again. He closed the gap to Engstler but could not pass the lighter Hyundai so had to settle for fourth. Proczyk won the race and took the championship lead ahead of Engstler.

In the final TCR Germany race of 2018 still a maximum of 40 points were to be gained. Langeveld had to do the maths on the score that would still secure him the title and that turned out not to be an easy task. A win for himself with Proczyk no higher than seventh and Engstler no better than fifth would still hand the title to Langeveld.

 A perfect start from third moved Langeveld straight into the lead. He managed to create a small gap, but saw this evaporate immediately when the safety car came out after the first lap. With an excellent restart Langeveld immediately opened up a gap but had to surrender it once more as the safety car returned yet again. After a few more laps to keep the tyres warm, Langeveld repeated his strong restart and took off from his pursuers for the third time. Behind him, however, Proczyk and Engstler had also emerged, Proczyk in third, Engstler in sixth. The young German had made his way forward from the back of the grid and was lucky not to get punished by race control.

Another safety-car situation in the closing stages of the race allowed Mike Halder to get hold of the rear of Langeveld's car, forcing the racing one driver to fight hard in order to keep the lead. He drove the ideal lines, but a big hit from Halder pushed Langeveld off the track, dropping the Audi down to fourth. Astonished that this action went unpunished, Langeveld first fought his way back up to third behind Proczyk. In the last lap, he went by the Austrian with a beautiful pass but leader Halder was to far away to go for the win. Langeveld finished second, giving him third place in the championship. Proczyk took TCR Germany 2018 title.

Langeveld: "I would like to congratulate Harald, he is the rightful champion. Of course I would have liked to reach my goal of winning the TCR Germany title. But I've raced so many great races this season, showing that this series is really competitive. On the final day of action, four drivers were still able to become champion in a field of 28 drivers, I think that says it all.  Everything has to be 100% to be champion. I've been on the podium 7 out of 14 races, won twice and everyone knows I'm a serious candidate for the title now. We are going to make plans for next season. All options are open, so that will be another exciting period. One thing is certain however, I want to fight for the title somewhere."

Results race 1
1. Harald Proczyk (O); 2. Mike Halder (D); 3. Luca Engstler (D); 4. Niels Langeveld; 5. Benjamin Leuchter (D); 6. Pascal Eberle (Zwi).
 
Results race 2
1. Mike Halder (D);  2. Niels Langeveld; 3. Harald Proczyk (O); 4. Luca Engstler (D); 5. Luke Wankmüller (D); 6. Niko Kankkunen (Fin).
 
Championship TCR Germany 2018
1. Harald Proczyk (O) 421
2. Luca Engstler (D) 414
3. Niels Langeveld 403
4. Mike Halder (D) 366
5. Antti Buri (Fin) 259
6. Max Hesse (D) 247 

Quelle: Niels Langeveld Racing

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