Yvan Muller won Race 2

Yvan Muller has taken his first World Touring Car Championship win of the season – his first win in 18 races – in a rain-hit second race at the Hungaroring.

The baking conditions that greeted drivers in the first race of the day less than two hours before had long since disappeared, and a heavy rain shower lashed the track in the minutes before the race.

Muller had managed to gain four places from his eighth-placed starting position before the race was red-flagged as conditions became too treacherous as the entire field struggled on the gripless surface with slick tyres.

Hometown hero Norbert Michelisz was a case in point. After finishing an impressive second in Race 1, the Hungarian was far too optimistic as he tried to make up ground Michelisz drilled the back of Poulsenat the first start, losing control of his BMW and slamming into Kristian Poulsen as the Dane turned for the apex of the corner.

The race was stopped for half an hour, and the entire field was able to make the restart – albeit some in hastily patched-up cars – that saw Alain Menu convert his front-row start into the race lead.

Muller set about passing Tom Coronel for third on the first lap, and this became second when Menu crashed out on the fifth lap after getting a wheel on the grass and losing control of his Chevrolet. No points for the Swiss driver, who will no doubt be frustrated at throwing away a golden opportunity to close down the gap to championship leader and team-mate Robert Huff.

Conditions were slippery when the race was restarted

Menu’s crash now left Tarquini in the lead, but it was fleeting as Muller swept by on the very next lap to take the lead he would never lose.

Huff drove a sensational race to finish second after starting from 12th on the grid. He made up seven places before the red flag and was steadily able to work his way up the order in the second phase of the race, dispatching with Coronel and then Tarquini to finish 3.6 seconds behind Muller.

Tarquini held on to finish third with SEAT team-mate Tiago Monteiro fifth and the pair sandwiching Coronel.

Monteiro had an enjoyable battle with the 1.6-litre turbo-engined sister SEAT of Michel Nykjær, until the Dane suffered a puncture and had to peel into the pits.

Monteiro then had to deal with the rapid Franz Engstler, who took the huge gamble of taking the restart on slick tyres. As his rivals’ wet tyres started to give up on the drying track, the wily Engstler was able to scythe his way up the order and finished less than one-tenth of a second behind Monteiro at the flag.

Javier Villa consolidated his Race 1 podium with a run to seventh place ahead of Darryl O’Young’s Bamboo Chevrolet, while Robert Dahlgren finished a disconsolate ninth after he was hit with a drive-through penalty for colliding with Pepe Oriola’s SEAT on the first lap after the restart. He finished ahead of Fredy Barth, who took the final championship point with tenth place.

 

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2011 FIA WTCC Race of Hungary Final Classification (Race 2 – 14 laps):

Driver Team Result
1. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 59:02.507
2. Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 3.631
3. Gabriele Tarquini ITA Lukoil-SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT + 10.106
4. Tom Coronel NED ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW + 11.699
5. Tiago Monteiro POR SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT + 22.995
6. Franz Engstler DEU Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW + 23.070
7. Javier Villa García ESP Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW + 26.322
8. Darryl O’Young HKG Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 31.267
9. Robert Dahlgren SWE Polestar Volvo C30 Volvo + 36.832
10. Fredy Barth SUI Swiss Racing SR León 1.6T Sunred + 37.247
11. Yukinori Taniguchi JPN Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 43.609
12. Aleksei Dudukalo RUS Lukoil-SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT + 1:34.238
13. Michel Nykjær DEN SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred + 1 lap
14. Mehdi Bennani MOR Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW + 1 lap
15. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ-Dension Team BMW 320TC BMW + 1 lap
           
  NOT CLASSIFIED        
NF. Fabio Fabiani ITA Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si BMW 5 laps
NF. Alain Menu SUI RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 4 laps
NF. Pepe Oriola ESP SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 4 laps
NF. Kristian Poulsen DEN Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 3 laps
NS. Urs Sonderegger SUI Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC BMW did not start
           
FASTEST LAP
  Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ-Dension Team BMW 320TC BMW 2:04.056

[Original images via FIA WTCC Media]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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