Hungary WTCR: Urrutia wins to draw level on points with Ehrlacher
Santiago Urrutia became the eighth different race winner from eight races in the 2021 World Touring Car Cup with victory at the Hungaroring, leaving him level on points with fellow Lynk & Co driver and reigning champion Yann Ehrlacher at the top of the standings.
Uruguayan Urrutia was handed a free run to the first corner after fastest qualifier Rob Huff was forced to start from the pitlane after the British driver clipped a tyre stack in the first race and incurred severe damage to his left-front suspension.
His Zengo Motorsport team ran out of time to repair the Cupra Leon ahead of race two, frustrating his hopes of still taking up his hard-earned pole position.
“This weekend shows you have to focus on your own thing and you have to be 100% every weekend,” said a delighted Urrutia after the second victory of his WTCR career so far.
“I made a mistake in Aragon, so it feels good to be back on top. This is only my second season, so I didn’t expect to be this competitive.”
As Urrutia took the lead at the start, Munnich Motorsport Honda driver Nestor Girolami tapped local hero Norbert Michelisz into a spin at Turn 1, to the disapproval of the large partisan crowd that had returned to the Hungaroring after the WTCR ran behind closed doors because of COVID-19 last year.
Girolami was able to continue in second place, which he held to the flag, while Michelisz could only recover to a disappointing 14th.
But Argentinean Girolami was subsequently penalised five seconds for the collision, which dropped him off the podium and down to fifth place. That lifted Ehrlacher to fourth, gifting him a slender two-point advantage over Urrutia in the standings.
Frederic Vervisch made a lightning getaway from ninth on the grid and despite suspicions he’d jumped the start, emerged from Turn 1 in third place.
He maintained the position to add a podium finish to the one he’d lost in race one, when he’d been shuffled down from second to fourth on the final lap.
Girolami’s penalty then elevated him to second place, with Mikel Azcona – who had finished second in race one – promoted to third.
The earlier partially reversed-grid race was much more eventful than the processional second, as Belgium’s Gilles Magnus scored his first WTCR win in his Comtoyou Audi.
The 21-year old converted his pole position into victory, aided by Vervisch riding shotgun and protecting his lead. That was until Mikal Azcona made a move on the final lap to claim second, with Ehrlacher also slipping past to knock Vervisch from the podium.
At the start, Azcona had punted off Yvan Muller at the first turn and was fortunate to escape punishment. His second podium finish of the weekend in race two completed a high-scoring weekend for the Spaniard.
But the same could not be said for Hyundai’s Jean-Karl Vernay, who lost his points lead after a disastrous weekend in Hungary. The Frenchman, who also raced in the Pure ETCR series running on the same bill, qualified 16th on Saturday and could only salvage 14th and 13th from the two races.
Huff finished 18th in race two after his tyre stack error in race one left his car stranded on the circuit, enforcing a safety car interruption.
Hungary WTCR - Race 2 results:
|1||12||Santiago Urrutia||Lynk & Co|
|5||68||Yann Ehrlacher||Lynk & Co||4.616|
|6||100||Yvan Muller||Lynk & Co||8.503|
|7||11||Thed Björk||Lynk & Co||10.050|
|View full results|
Hungary WTCR - Race 1 results:
|3||68||Yann Ehrlacher||Lynk & Co||2.682|
|5||11||Thed Björk||Lynk & Co||3.866|
|7||12||Santiago Urrutia||Lynk & Co||4.791|
|View full results|
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