Josh Files makes the perfect start to his TCR German Championship title defence

Josh Files, centre, in the black race suite with second placed Steve Kirsch on the left and Sheldon

Josh Files, centre, in the black race suite with second placed Steve Kirsch on the left and Sheldon van der Linde on the far right with Luca Engstler (best newcomer) on the far left. Picture: ADAC Motorsport - Credit: Archant

Josh Files made the perfect start to his TCR German Championship title defence by winning the opening race at the Oschersleben Motorsport Arena.

Josh Files made the perfect start to his TCR German Championship. Picture: Gruppe C GMbH

Josh Files made the perfect start to his TCR German Championship. Picture: Gruppe C GMbH - Credit: Tim Upietz, Gruppe C

'A perfect start,' stated a very happy Files. 'The key to victory was that I got to the front so early. Steve (Kirsch) was close but if you look backwards too much, it will only slow you down.'

The Poringland racer started the opening event from fourth place on the grid but moved into second place after a blistering start and slipped into the lead soon after.

The safety car made three appearances but each time Files defended his lead to ensure victory in the same Target Competition prepared Honda Civic he used last year.

The top 10 qualifiers start in reverse order for race two with Files on grid seven and he again quickly moved forwards snatching third place on lap two.


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Again the safety car made a number of appearances restricting the local racer the opportunity to improve his position but he finished on the podium once more.

'Florian (Thoma) drove superbly and deserved to win today,' said Files. 'It was a difficult race but I'm happy with the result. It's a long year, every point counts and is very valuable.

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'I'm looking forward to the next round,' continued Files, who will be defending a 14-point lead over Sheldon van der Linde at the Red Bull Ring.

'Now the countdown begins for race one in Barcelona,' remarked George Russell after completing over 500 laps in his ART Grand Prix tended GP3 race car in preparation for the season ahead.

The King's Lynn racer, a Mercedes AMG Formula 1 Junior Driver, will head to Spain in the middle of May having posted the quickest lap time in the second session of the latest group GP3 test at Valencia.

Russell has topped the session timesheets at least once during each of the pre-season tests and will be keen to carry that speed through to the races with the title at the end of season a realistic prospect.

Four of the previous GP3 champions – Esteban Gutierrez, Valtteri Bottas, Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Ocon – have, or are, racing in Formula One which the Norfolk born racer would dearly love to emulate.

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