Yvan Muller has maintained his run as the only multiple race-winner in the 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship season with victory in today’s opening race at the Hungaroring.
The RML Chevrolet driver took his third win of the year, finishing 0.6 seconds ahead of local favourite Norbert Michelisz at the end of the twelve-lap race.
With the race getting underway with a traditional rolling start, the entire field made it through the opening corner, but all hell broke loose at Turn 2 when Tom Coronel ran into the back of Tiago Monteiro.
The contact tipped the Portuguese driver’s Honda into a spin, triggering a multi-car accident further back that caught out James Thompson, Pepe Oriola, Fredy Barth and Darryl O’Young. Thompson, Oriola and Barth were unable to continue any further, while O’Young was able to pit and rejoin proceedings after repairs to his ROAL BMW.
The contact possibly caused further problems for Monteiro, who speared into the barriers on the second lap as he braked for Turn 1. Despite all the carnage, the race was able to continue without a safety car interruption.
Up at the front, Muller led from Michelisz, putting the hammer down in the early laps to build himself enough of a buffer over the Hungarian before his Honda’s tyres came up to temperature. Michelisz was able to close on the Frenchman in the closing laps, although despite the enormous crowd support he was unable to find a way past the three-time champion.
Gabriele Tarquini had a rather anonymous race to finish in third place, while behind him there was a thrilling scrap for fourth place between Rob Huff – who made a great start from eighth on the grid – and Coronel, who had recovered from his opening-lap bingle with Monteiro with neat overtaking moves on Mehdi Bennani and Coronel.
Coronel tried a late pass on Huff on the tenth lap, but the Englishman resisted and the BMW ran wide at Turn 4, which allowed the chasing Bennani up to fifth position.
The top-five finished in that order, which gave Bennani the Independent Trophy honours and plenty of motivation to challenge for a maiden outright podium – and possibly the win – when he starts from the front row of the grid in Race 2.
Coronel survived a post-race visit with the FIA Stewards to keep sixth place, finishing ahead of Chilton and the Bamboo Chevrolets of James Nash and Alex MacDowall.
2013 FIA WTCC Race of Hungary – Race 1 Final Classification (12 laps):
|1.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||23:17.125|
|2.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC||+ 0.617|
|3.||Gabriele Tarquini||Castrol Honda Civic WTCC||+ 12.670|
|4.||Robert Huff||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||+ 13.573|
|5.||Mehdi Bennani||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC||+ 13.861||Y|
|6.||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||+ 14.133|
|7.||Tom Chilton||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 15.021|
|8.||Alex MacDowall||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 17.343||Y|
|9.||James Nash||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 18.073||Y|
|10.||Michel Nykjær||NIKA Racing Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 18.465||Y|
|11.||Marc Basseng||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||+ 23.782|
|12.||Hugo Valente||Campos Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||+ 28.395||Y|
|13.||Franz Engstler||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||+ 29.116||Y|
|14.||Stefano D’Aste||PB Sport BMW 320TC||+ 30.474||Y|
|15.||Charles Ka-Ki Ng||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||+ 34.221||Y|
|16.||Fernando Monje||Campos Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||+ 35.498||Y|
|17.||Mikhail Kozlowskiy||LADA Sport Granta||+ 39.708|
|18.||René Münnich||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||+ 44.193||Y|
|NC.||Darryl O’Young||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||5 laps||Y|
|DNF.||Tom Boardman||Special Tune Racing SEAT León WTCC||3 laps||Y|
|DNF.||Tiago Monteiro||Castrol Honda Civic WTCC||1 lap|
|DNF.||Fredy Barth||Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC||1 lap||Y|
|DNF.||Pepe Oriola||Tuenti Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||0 laps||Y|
|DNF.||James Thompson||LADA Sport Granta||0 laps|
“Y” denotes Yokohama Independent Trophy competitor.
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