Tarquini beats Michelisz in WTCR to break Hungarian hearts

Tarquini beats Michelisz in WTCR to break Hungarian hearts

start, WTCR, Hungaroring
photo: WTCR

Gabriele Tarquini broke the hearts of the dedicated Hungaroring faithful at WTCR Race of Hungary by beating national hero and team-mate Norbert Michelisz to victory, as the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO put on a gripping display of action-packed racing today.

The key was the Italian veteran’s trademark scorching start that allowed him to streak ahead of DHL Pole Position winner Michelisz before they braked for Turn 1. In a race interrupted by first a safety car and then a red flag because of a rain shower, Tarquini kept his cool and extended his WTCR points lead over second-placed Yann Ehrlacher as the BRC Racing Team claimed a resounding one-two with its Hyundai i30 N TCRs.

Earlier in the day, Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Rob Huff converted his DHL Pole Position into a reverse grid Race 2 victory

Driving a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, the Briton withheld an impressive challenge from wildcard entry Dániel Nagy, who capped a competitive weekend with a podium in his M1RA-entered Hyundai.

“It was really good for us, we’ve been struggling a bit with pace this weekend so to get that crucial P10, which gave us the pole position for the first race today was really important. To make a good start, we changed the set-up a little bit in qualifying, we improved it and we had a really good race with [Dániel] Nagy and luckily not too close. He never got too close to make a move but a testament to Sébastien Loeb Racing and Volkswagen for the hard work they put in this weekend to really try to improve the car in every session, in every qualifying, every race and we have to be very happy”, Huff said.

Huff’s win in the Golf means four of the seven car brands represented in the all-new WTCR have tasted victory after just six races, following Yann Ehrlacher’s Race 1 success on Saturday. The Frenchman climbed from fifth on the grid to the lead in just two corners to deliver ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport a first victory with its Honda Civic Type R TCR. He then landed the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy for his rapid display in Race 3.

Yvan Muller left Hungary with two thirds in WTCR OSCARO for his self-run team

But it would prove a weekend to forget for his team-mate Thed Björk, who had to make do with two ninth-place finishes in his YMR Hyundai.

Eighteen-year-old Benjamin Lessenes impressed with fifth place in Race 3 for Boutsen Ginion Racing. Jean-Karl Vernay finished in the points in all three races for the Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team, while former simracing champion Zsolt Szabó was ninth in Race 2 for MOL-supported Zengő Motosport. After finishing second in Race 1 and fifth in Race 2, a jumped start in Race 3 earned Esteban Guerrieri a drive-through penalty.

Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller, Norbert Michelisz
photo: Thomas Fenetre / WTCR

Tarquini beats Michelisz in WTCR to break Hungarian hearts

“I’m very sorry for Norbi because he made a fantastic weekend and in the end, he finished without a win. Today was fantastic because he scored a fantastic pole position and he was in the best position to win the third race. Unfortunately for him, my start was better than his start and in this was the key to my win. After with the same car, it’s very difficult to overtake the car in front of you. Norbi was very fast on this track, he was unbeatable in qualifying and in every session he was faster than me but in the end, the only key to winning the race was to beat him on the start. I tried my best and it happened”, Tarquini commented.