Rob Huff has claimed his first win of the 2013 FIA WTCC season – and the first-ever win for the new Münnich Motorsport team – with victory in an exciting second race today at the Hungaroring.
Starting from third place for Race 2, the Englishman leapt into second place by Turn 1 behind the fast-starting Mehdi Bennani, whose rear-wheel-drive BMW leapt off the line in the standing start.
Behind the leading pair, there was chaos once again, although this time the pace made it to Turn 3 before the fender-bending ensued. This time it was triggered by former teammates Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, with the former turning across the latter and tipping the Italian into the barriers.
The hapless Tarquini ricocheted off the Armco and back on to the circuit where he was collected by the unsighted Franz Engstler.
The safety car was immediately triggered so marshals could clean up the mess and the medics could attend to both Tarquini and Engstler, who complained of bruising and neck pain. Both were taken to the local military hospital, with Tarquini kept under observation overnight as a precaution.
The race was restarted on the fifth lap, and the opportunistic Huff immediately leapt into action, passing the Moroccan around the outside of Turn 1 to take the lead. The pair were locked nose-to-tail for the rest of the race, with Huff winning by less than half-a-second.
For Bennani, the result represented the best finish of his career at a circuit where he has always performed. The Proteam BMW driver was overjoyed to be on the podium, and back-to-back Independent Trophy wins moved him into fourth in the Yokohama standings.
It was a strong race for the Independent runners, with the Bamboo Engineering duo of Alex MacDowall and James Nash keeping fellow Chevrolet runner at Race 1 winner Yvan Muller at bay to round out the top-five.
Tom Coronel finished in sixth place after an exciting battle with Tom Chilton, while Norbert Michelisz finished just behind in eighth place at his home race.
2013 FIA WTCC Race of Hungary – Race 1 Final Classification (12 laps):
|1.||Robert Huff||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||29:35.971|
|2.||Mehdi Bennani||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC||+ 0.426||Y|
|3.||Alex MacDowall||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 4.043||Y|
|4.||James Nash||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 4.465||Y|
|5.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 4.783|
|6.||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||+ 5.490|
|7.||Tom Chilton||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 6.835|
|8.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC||+ 7.232|
|9.||Michel Nykjær||NIKA Racing Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 8.413||Y|
|10.||Darryl O’Young||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||+ 8.663||Y|
|11.||Stefano D’Aste||PB Sport BMW 320TC||+ 10.180||Y|
|12.||James Thompson||LADA Sport Granta||+ 14.305|
|13.||Tiago Monteiro||Castrol Honda Civic WTCC||+ 14.886|
|14.||Charles Ka-Ki Ng||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||+ 20.289||Y|
|15.||Tom Boardman||Special Tune Racing SEAT León WTCC||+ 23.547||Y|
|16.||Pepe Oriola||Tuenti Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||+ 24.227||Y|
|17.||Marc Basseng||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||+ 25.395|
|18.||Fernando Monje||Campos Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||+ 26.536||Y|
|19.||Hugo Valente||Campos Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||+ 31.352||Y|
|20.||Mikhail Kozlowskiy||LADA Sport Granta||+ 32.330|
|21.||René Münnich||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||+ 32.710||Y|
|22.||Fredy Barth||Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC||+ 3 laps||Y|
|DNF.||Gabriele Tarquini||Castrol Honda Civic WTCC||0 laps|
|DNF.||Franz Engstler||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||0 laps||Y|
“Y” denotes Yokohama Independent Trophy competitor.