Lopez takes comfortable third win of the year in Hungary

Citroen’s Jose Maria Lopez extended his championship lead after taking winning the first WTCC race in Budapest from teammate Yvan Muller.

There was confusion at the start as polesitter Muller lined up on the grid one set of markers ahead of the planned pole position slot, which led to the grid incorrectly forming up behind him.

The first start was therefore aborted with an extra formation lap then taking place, which brought the total race distance down to 13 laps. The start will be investigated by the officials later today after the second race.

At the second attempt at a start, Lopez got away well from third on the grid and then dived down the inside of Muller into Turn 1 to take the lead. Muller slotted into second, with Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente third.

On the exit of Turn 1, the other two Citroens of Sebastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua made light contact, with Loeb losing a spot as a result to the Honda of Tiago Monteiro, falling to sixth position.

Lopez and Muller battled hard throughout the first few corners of the first lap, but Lopez was able to hold the position and began to pull out a comfortable lead from lap two.

Further down the order, Tom Chilton was able to grab a spot in his ROAL Chevrolet from Norbert Miehlisz on the second lap, with Lada’s Rob Huff able to get ahead of Tom Coronel for ninth, which turned out to be the last key overtaking moves of the race.

Lopez went on to build his advantage, taking victory with almost a four second lead from Muller, with Valente completing the podium and taking the independents’ class victory.

The Argentine's win means he now leads the drivers’ standings on 121 points, with Loeb 35 points further behind and Muller 44.

Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes

Pos  Driver  Car  Time  Gap 
Jose Maria Lopez Citroen 24m11.868  
Yvan Muller Citroen 24m15.826 3.958
Hugo Valente Chevrolet 24m22.158 10.290
Ma Qing Hua Citroen 24m22.927 11.059
Tiago Monteiro Honda 24m23.391 11.523
Sebastien Loeb Citroen 24m25.970 14.102
Tom Chilton Chevrolet 24m26.673 14.805
Norbert Michelisz Honda 24m27.416 15.548
Rob Huff Lada 24m29.510 17.642
10  Tom Coronel Chevrolet 24m29.972 18.104
11  Gabriele Tarquini Honda 24m30.390 18.522
12  Mehdi Bennani Citroen 24m35.632 23.764
13  Gregoire Demoustier Chevrolet 24m47.493 35.625
14  John Filippi Chevrolet 24m57.836 45.968
15  Stefano D'Aste Chevrolet 25m00.354 48.486
Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada

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About this article
Series WTCC
Event Budapest
Track Hungaroring
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Yvan Muller , Jose Maria Lopez
Teams Citroën World Touring Car team
Article type Race report