Reigning World Touring Car Champion José María López has further extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings with a comfortable victory in Sunday’s opening race at the Hungaroring, but the story of the weekend was another hometown victory for Zengõ Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz, who dominated proceedings to win Race 2 in front of his fans.


López ensured himself his third win of the season with a storming getaway from the second row of the grid, quickly leapfrogging Hugo Valente’s Campos Chevrolet before placing his Citroën C-Elysée up the inside of teammate and pole-sitter Yvan Muller on the run to the first corner.

Muller was perhaps rattled when the lights went out, having incorrectly lined up on the wrong row of the grid at the first start – for which he was later reprimanded by the Stewards – forcing the field to complete another warm-up lap and reducing the race distance to 13 tours of the twisty circuit.

That, coupled with López’s lightning getaway, confined the Frenchman to a frustrated second-placed finish and a further seven-point advantage in favour of his Argentine rival. The pair battled hard through the first few corners, but López was able to pull enough of a gap through the twisty second sector to ensure he would never be challenged.

Jose Maria Lopez, Citroen Racing

Lopez had plenty in hand in his run to his third win of the season.

Turn 1 saw some action on the opening lap, with the other two factory Citroëns of Sébastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua making light contact at the right-hander in the scramble for track position on the opening lap. Loeb was the loser in that tussle, falling to sixth place behind Tiago Monteiro’s Honda.

Such was the combination of the current aero regulations and the ‘follow my leader’ layout of the Hungaroring, the race was effectively a procession from there on for the top-six runners.

Tom Chilton was able to pick up a place in his ROAL Chevrolet from Norbert Miehlisz on the second lap, while Lada’s Rob Huff did likewise to get ahead of Tom Coronel for ninth.

Further down the order, Gabriele Tarquini scythed his way past the Independent Trophy runners to eleventh place from the back of the grid in his much-quicker Honda. The Italian veteran’s hard work counted for nothing, however, as he was subsequently disqualified from the standings when his Castrol Honda mechanics violated parc fermé regulations after the race.

Up at the front, López extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings to 35 points and 41 points over Loeb and Muller respectively, crossing the finish line with a 3.9-second gap to the latter.

You can watch the full recording of Race 1 by clicking here.


2015 FIA WTCC Race of Hungary – Race 1 Final Classification (13 laps*)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result
1. José María López Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée 13 24:11.868
2. Yvan Muller fr Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée 13 + 3.958
3. Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 + 10.290
4. Ma Qing Hua Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée 13 + 11.059
5. Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 13 + 11.523
6. Sébastien Loeb Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée 13 + 14.102
7. Tom Chilton uk ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 + 14.805
8. Norbert Michelisz Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 13 + 15.548
9. Rob Huff uk LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 13 + 17.642
10. Tom Coronel nl ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 + 18.104
11. Mehdi Bennani Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 13 + 23.764
12. Grégoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 + 35.625
13. John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 + 45.968
14. Stefano D’Aste it Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 + 48.486
DSQ. Gabriele Tarquini^ it Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 13 + 18.522
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Result
DNF. Mikhail Kozlovskiy ru LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 7 Engine
DNS. James Thompson uk LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC Unwell

* Race distance reduced to 13 laps after first attempted start was aborted.
^ Tarquini was excluded from the final classification for a parc ferme breach.


Norbert Michelisz

The second race of the round delivered a similarly processional affair, but that ultimately didn’t matter for the tens of thousands of cheering Hungarian fans who had flocked to the circuit to see their local hero, Norbert Michelisz, romp to victory on home soil for the second time in his career.

The race’s biggest drama came at the start when a slow-starting John Filippi swerved into Gabriele Tarquini’s path off the grid and forced the Italian onto the grass in avoidance; the Honda driver had to pit to clear his radiator. That reduced the rest of his race to an extended test session, where he ran a couple of set-up tweaks and easily clocked the fastest lap of the race to bode well for the team’s prospects at the next round in Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Having secured the reversed-grid pole position by qualifying tenth-fastest, Michelisz had showed little in the way of race pace in Race 1, but kept a set of new tyres in hand for this all-important 14-lap encounter.

He shot off the line and took a lights-to-flag victory, while behind him Tom Coronel got the jump on ROAL Motorsport teammate Tom Chilton into the first corner to claim second place. The duo ran in close company for the rest of the race to give the Italian team its first double-podium finish since 2008, but neither had an answer for Michelisz, who built a lead of almost 10 seconds before backing off in the final laps.

Rob Huff

Huff was out after being hit by the Citroens.

Further behind, the midfield-starting Citroëns found themselves squabbling over the same piece of real estate at Turn 1, and once again it was Sébastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua who made contact.

The latter was spun by Loeb into the path of the innocent Rob Huff, whose LADA Vesta sustained terminal damage to its fragile rear suspension in the fracas.

Behind the two ROAL Chevrolets, Tiago Monteiro acted as the cork in the bottle for the chasing Citroëns, with Loeb leading from López and Muller; Ma was two spots behind in his battle-scarred car, stuck in the wake of Hugo Valente’s Chevrolet and unable to find a way past.

The order continued for the remainder of the race, with Michelisz breaking Citroën’s undefeated run this season while also giving Honda its first victory since the series’ visit to Japan last October. Importantly, it was also a win for Honda’s new Type-R aero package, which was given its race debut this weekend.

Loeb’s fifth-placed finish saw him trim the points gap to series leader López to 33 points, while Muller lies a further 10 points behind.

The field will regroup in two weeks’ time for the World Touring Car Championship’s maiden visit to the 21-kilometre Nürburgring Nordschleife, where it will play a supporting act to the annual 24 Hours sports car race.

You can watch the full recording of Race 2 by clicking here.


2015 FIA WTCC Race of Hungary – Race 2 Final Classification (14 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result
1. Norbert Michelisz Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 14 26:00.367
2. Tom Coronel nl ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 14 + 7.103
3. Tom Chilton uk ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 14 + 9.315
4. Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 14 + 10.176
5. Sébastien Loeb Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée 14 + 11.235
6. José María López Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée 14 + 12.040
7. Yvan Muller fr Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée 14 + 13.065
8. Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze 14 + 18.639
9. Ma Qing Hua Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée 14 + 19.826
10. Grégoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze 14 + 30.021
11. John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze 14 + 38.660
12. Stefano D’Aste it Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 14 + 42.030
13. Gabriele Tarquini it Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 14 + 1:11.284
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Result
DNF. Mikhail Kozlovskiy ru LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 6 Mechanical
DNF. Mehdi Bennani Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 1 Mechanical
DNF. Rob Huff uk LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 1 Collision
DNS. James Thompson uk LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC Unwell

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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