Points leader Luca Engstler has enjoyed a perfect run at Sepang for the second event of TCR Malaysia, the German Hyundai driver carding the top qualifying time in slippery conditions before prevailing once more in both torrential rain and under lights on the iconic Grand Prix circuit.
A single day event with two practice sessions closely followed by qualifying meant teams needed to be on their game with experience playing a strong hand.
With two wins under his belt from the previous weekend, it was no surprise that Luca Engstler continued to set the pace, although he concluded session one just half a second clear of TCR Germany team-mate Kai Jordan, with local hero Douglas Khoo third fastest. Engstler sat out the second session, paving the way for a great battle for the top spot between Khoo, Prince Racing Honda driver Kenneth Lau, and new Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen recruits Brendan Paul Anthony and Ahmad Azlee.
Khoo prevailed to set the fastest time, but it was Engstler who returned to the top of the timesheets in the opening 20-minute qualifier, although his pace was down on the best of the previous weekend, his 2:17.243 just three tenths clear of the impressive Jordan. Douglas Khoo maintained his outstanding TCR Malaysia performance with the third fastest time, from Brutal Fish Racing’s Martin Ryba.
Light rain fell ahead of the second leg of qualifying, and with little time to make any more adjustments than tyres, Luca Engstler stretched his advantage over his rivals to 3.5-seconds, with KCMG team-boss Paul Ip advancing to the front row for the start of round three, Jordan dropping back to P3 alongside Kenneth Lau.
Teams now enjoy a four week break until the final event of the season, with rounds five and six of TCR Malaysia scheduled for February 23-24 at Sepang International Circuit.