Niels Langeveld came to the Red Bull Ring with the idea of being at the front right away. In a field of 40 TCR Germany racers, the reigning SEAT Leon Eurocup champion knew the key to success would be a good qualifying. In free practice, Langeveld and his Racing One team worked hard on the correct set-up for their Audi RS3 LMS. Langeveld found the pace just in time and took fifth position in his session before moving on to the second session, which would determine the top-twelve for the first race.
However, as he stepped into his Audi to do the next session, an unfortunate accident caused the rest of his weekend to go up in smoke, as he inadvertently hit the fire extinguisher next to the seat. This went off immediately and covered the Audi cockpit in foam. As a result, Langeveld was unable to take part in second qualifying and was forced to start from the very back of the field in both races.
Disappointed by his cruel luck, but at the same fully motivated by it, Langeveld started the first race from 40th position. In an unprecedented race of overtaking, the Dutchman passed one opponent after another, crossing the finish line in twelfth, having completed 16 laps of the Austrian Formula 1 circuit a mere 16 seconds behind the race winner. "It was time to show everyone what I'm capable of in a racing car. It was a wonderful feeling passing so many cars," said Langeveld with a smile after an amazing race.
His remarkable race left friends and rivals in awe, while his Racing One team spoke of a “a magical race”. And so Langeveld was full of optimism at the start of the second TCR Germany race on Sunday afternoon.
Again starting from last position on the grid, Langeveld set off on another race filled with overtaking moves, passing five cars after just four turns. Lining up for another attack into turn five, Langeveld's Audi was hit hard on the right front when his rival slammed the door on him unexpectedly. The big blow caused the power steering to cut out and Langeveld had to return to the pits to have the damage repaired. This took so long that his race was effectively over. His team still sent him out to test whether the car was still in good order, but Langeveld came into the pits again to park the Audi in the pit garage.
Langeveld was obviously disappointed with his weekend, but did see the positive aspects: "We found a good set-up and in the first race I proved that I’m able to match the fastest drivers in TCR Germany. Of course I was unlucky, but sometimes that just happens. It’s no reason to let your head drop. I'm very confident we will be ready to fight for the podium at the next event at Oschersleben."