English driver Josh Files became the 2016 ADAC TCR Germany champion when he took victory in Race 1 at Hockenheim, the venue for the final two races of the season in an event that is also valid as the last round of the TCR Trophy Europe.
Needing only to out-score his rival Harald Proczyk to take the title, Files won his sixth race of the season, while Proczyk failed to score.
After qualifying on pole, Files made a superb start and led his Target Competition teammate Dennis Strandberg into the first corner, with Steve Kirsch in third place making it a Honda 1-2-3. Proczyk’s challenge lasted less than a lap, when the Austrian driver outbraked himself going down to the hairpin at Turn 6 and took to the escape road, rejoining in 24th place.
Files then drove a lonely race at the head of the field. Strandberg and Kirsch briefly swapped second and third places, but Strandberg quickly retook the position to act as rear-guard for Files. The safeguard wasn’t needed, as with Proczyk destined to finish outside the top twenty, Files’ title hopes were now guaranteed. At the end of the thirty-minute race, Files crossed the finish line to complete a lights-to-flag victory that delivered the title.
In the fight for the TCR Trophy Europe, the two drivers battling for the title spent much of the race running together in fifth and sixth places. With less than tree minutes of the race remaining, the Opel Astra TCR of Pierre-Yves Corthals moved up into fourth place and stayed there until the end of the race, while Antti Buri in a SEAT León finished sixth. With aggregate scores from the race weekend being counted, the two have an anxious night’s sleep ahead of them before Race 2 that will start at 16:45 local time on Sunday afternoon (live streaming at www.tcr-series.tv).