At the end of 12 frantic laps in Race 1 of the WTCC event at the Hungaroring, the two Honda Civics that started second and third on the grid held these position to the end to make it again a double Honda presence on the podium.
Gabriele Tarquini brought the Castrol Honda Civic home in third position whilst local here Norbert Michelisz delighted his thousands of flag-waving fans by edging ever closer to the ultimate winner Yvan Muller as the race progressed to finish just 0.6 of a second behind.
My aim was to get on the podium and we did. I'm sorry for my fans that I didn't win the race but the podium is important and also more points Honda and my championship score," said Norbert at the post-race press conference.
Gabriele Tarquini had to defend his position throughout the race but could not close on the leading pair. "I am pleased for another podium for the Civic which is still a young car for us to carry on developing. So overall performance is positive but I just did not have a very good pace.
I was defending my position for much of the race with a big group of cars behind which enabled me to get clear in the end. I will try something different on the set-up for Race 2 this afternoon so that we can learn all the time about the car."
Data from the free practices and qualification sessions is valuable in determining the setting for race day. "The engine performance is the same for all three cars," confirms Daisuke Horiuchi, Large Project Leader for WTCC development from Honda R & D.
"We improved the turbo charger fine control settings today to improve our speed over the sector 1 which includes the long home straight. We have improved the times from yesterday."
Tiago Monteiro was a very unhappy race driver having come off the track soon after the start. "In the crowded start there was contact in one of the early corners but I managed to catch the car and get it straight but it seems the steering and brakes were damaged and I could not avoid the tyre barrier. I hope the team can get my Honda repaired in time for Race 2."
World Touring Car Championship regulations call for the top 10 places on the starting grid are reversed for the second race so Michelisz will be on row 4 and Tarquini on row 3. It will be tough work for the Honda Civics to be on the second podium today.