Hungary WTCR: Tarquini clinches third win of 2018

Gabriele Tarquini clinched his third win from six races at the start of the World Touring Car Cup season, resisting Norbert Michelisz in the final race at the Hungaroring.

From second on the grid, Tarquini beat his polesitting BRC Racing teammate Michelisz at the start of a race that included a stoppage induced by the arrival of rain, and held off a spirited pursuit from the sister Hyundai in the closing laps to win.

With grey clouds gathering at the start of the race, Tarquini got the jump on Michelisz off the line to lead into Turn 1 and held his teammate at bay.

The pair led the way early on from the Munnich Motorsport Honda of Esteban Guerrieri, who was handed a drive-through penalty for jumping the start, before a safety car was called at the end of the second lap with Aurelien Panis's Audi stuck at Turn 3 with broken suspension.

Michelisz was told just before a lap five restart not to attack Tarquini, a message he acknowledged, and the pair remained line astern ahead of Yvan Muller, who was promoted to third after Guerrieri served his penalty.

The race was then stopped on lap eight when spots of rain briefly intensified, but the rain had stopped by the time the race resumed - with a lap counted back and two added to the original 15-lap distance - under the safety car, meaning all runners opted to remain on slicks.

Tarquini got a jump on Michelisz on the restart, but the Hungarian moved back in on his teammate in the second half of the race and began to pile on the pressure.

But despite running within four tenths of a second of Tarquini on each of the final three laps, Michelisz cold not force the Italian into a mistake and had to settle for runner-up spot, finishing 0.354 seconds behind.

Muller grabbed the final podium spot for a second race in a row, shading Munnich Motorsport Honda driver and nephew Yann Ehrlacher for third.

Benjamin Lessennes converted his place at the head of row three on the grid into a fifth place finish in his Boutsen Ginion Civic, ahead of reversed-grid race runner-up Daniel Nagy (M1RA Hyundai).

Race two winner Rob Huff (SLR VW) had got alongside James Thompson for seventh just as the race was red-flagged, but dropped away from the second Munnich Motorsport car after the restart as he defended from a charging Thed Bjork (YMR Hyundai).

Race results:

Pos.Driver CarTime/Gap
 Gabriele Tarquini Hyundai 46'49.549
 Norbert Michelisz Hyundai 0.354
 Yvan Muller Hyundai 3.691
 Yann Ehrlacher Honda 4.092
 Benjamin Lessennes Honda 7.675
 Daniel Nagy Hyundai 8.198
 James Thompson Honda 9.631
 Rob Huff Volkswagen 12.386
 Thed Bjork Hyundai 12.999
10   Jean-Karl Vernay Audi 17.645
11   Norbert Nagy Seat 21.297
12   Pepe Oriola Seat 22.260
13   Gordon Shedden Audi 22.769
14   Aurelien Comte Peugeot 23.439
15   Gianni Morbidelli Alfa Romeo 24.124
16   Mat'o Homola Peugeot 25.404
17   Attila Tassi Honda 25.688
18   Nathanael Berthon Audi 26.354
19   Mehdi Bennani Volkswagen 27.077
20   Frederic Vervisch Audi 27.869
21   Denis Dupont Audi 35.408
22   Esteban Guerrieri Honda 1'53.270
Ret   Zsolt Szabo Seat  -
Ret   Tom Coronel Honda  -
Ret   John Filippi Seat  -
Ret   Fabrizio Giovanardi Alfa Romeo  -
Ret   Aurelien Panis Audi  -
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About this article
Series WTCR
Event Hungaroring
Track Hungaroring
Drivers Gabriele Tarquini
Teams BRC Racing
Article type Race report