DRIVER NEWS: Disappointing weekend for Engel at Croft
Mercedes backed Engel made a good start to the weekend, setting the second fastest time in first qualifying. However, the front row start failed to deliver a podium finish after Engel tangled with team mate Niall Breen at the first corner.
Starting from fifth on the grid for race two, Engel battled with Atte Mustonen over the first lap and after some dicing, Mustonen found a way past. Engel went on to cross the line fifth and take eight valuable championship points.
Reflecting on the weekend, Engel commented, “We had decent pace from the start. First qualifying went well, we set the second fastest time, so were definitely in the frame for a win on Sunday. Unfortunately the start didn’t quite go according to plan, Niall had a better start than me, I tried to get the position back but as we approached the first corner I backed off as I realised I couldn’t make it. Unfortunately Niall locked up and slid into me and we were both out. It’s a shame as we could have got the team a 1-2.
“The second race went a little better, I passed Mustonen at the start, but I struggled to get my tyres up to temperature and he passed be back at the last corner. Then going down the start/finish straight I had my team mate Alberto behind me. I saw a yellow flag so I backed off, but Alberto went straight through. I later realised that it was a stationary yellow flag, meaning that it marked the beginning of a no-overtaking area. Unfortunately I couldn’t find away past again and followed him across the line, just 0.177 seconds behind him. It wasn’t the best finish to an already bad weekend!
“I’m definitely looking for a better weekend at Rockingham, I think we have reason to be confident and secure our second place in the championship.”
Engel will return to the UK for the final round of the championship on 28 – 30 September at Rockingham Speedway.