Gabriele Tarquini has extended his lead in the FIA World Touring Car Cup championship standings with his third victory of the 2018 season, leading home teammate Norbert Michelisz in a rain-interrupted final race at the Hungaroring.

Despite starting second behind pole-sitter Michelisz, Tarquini got the jump on the Hungarian off the line and led the field into Turn 1, with the Münnich Motorsport Honda of Esteban Guerrieri slotting into third place. It quickly emerged that Guerrieri had jumped the start, leading to a drive-through penalty for the Argentine.

The Safety Car was called into action when Aurélien Panis’ Audi RS 3 LMS retired with damaged steering and had to be recovered by the marshals.

As the race resumed, Guerrieri peeled into the pits to serve his drive-through penalty, promoting the YMR Hyundai of Yvan Muller into third.

The race would only run for two further laps before light rain hit the circuit. With the track quickly becoming slippery and with in-race pit stops not permitted under the rules, race officials suspended proceedings to allow the field to switch to wet-weather tyres.

Racing resumed after a 15-minute break, however the field remained on slick tyres as the rain had abated almost as quickly as it had appeared. Tarquini held position, with Michelisz under instruction by the pit wall not to challenge his teammate and risk their 1-2 formation.

Tarquini crossed the finish line just three-tenths of a second clear of Michelisz, with Muller claiming third place after keeping his nephew Yann Ehrlacher at bay.

Benjamin Lessennes claimed his best WTCR finish to-date in fifth in the Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda, receiving the chequered flag ahead of Dániel Nagy’s M1RA Hyundai and James Thompson’s Münnich Honda.

Race 2 winner Rob Huff consolidated his strong weekend by finishing eighth in his Sébastien Loeb Racing VW Golf GTI, fending off a stern challenge from last year’s WTCC title-winner Thed Björk in the second YMR Hyundai. Jean-Karl Vernay picked up the final point on offer in tenth in the Team WRT Audi.

With three victories in six races to-date, Tarquini now comfortably leads the Drivers’ Championship standings with 118 points, 36 clear of Ehrlacher. Muller sits just three points further back in third.

The third round of the 2018 FIA WTCR season takes place at the iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in two weeks’ time.

2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup Race of Hungary – Race 3 Final Classification (17 laps)
Driver Team Laps Result Pts
1. Gabriele Tarquini it BRC Racing Team 17 46:49.549 30
2. Norbert Michelisz BRC Racing Team 17 + 0.354 23
3. Yvan Muller MRacing – YMR 17 + 3.691 19
4. Yann Ehrlacher ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport 17 + 4.092 16
5. Benjamin Lessennes be Boutsen Ginion Racing 17 + 7.675 13
6. Dániel Nagy M1RA 17 + 8.198 10
7. James Thompson ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport 17 + 9.631 7
8. Rob Huff Sébastien Loeb Racing 17 + 12.386 4
9. Thed Björk MRacing – YMR 17 + 12.999 2
10. Jean-Karl Vernay Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team 17 + 17.645 1
11. Norbert Nagy Zengõ Motorsport 17 + 21.297
12. Gordon Shedden Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team 17 + 22.769
13. Aurélien Comte DG Sport Compétition 17 + 23.439
14. Gianni Morbidelli it Mulsanne SRL 17 + 24.124
15. Attila Tassi KCMG 17 + 25.688
16. Nathanaël Berthon Comtoyou Racing 17 + 26.354
17. Mehdi Bennani Sébastien Loeb Racing 17 + 27.077
18. Frédéric Vervisch be Audi Sport Team Comtoyou 17 + 27.869
19. Pepe Oriola* es Team OSCARO by Campos Racing 17 + 32.260
20. Mat’o Homola* DG Sport Compétition 17 + 35.404
21. Denis Dupont be Comtoyou Racing 17 + 35.408
22. Esteban Guerrieri ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport 17 + 1:53.270
Not Classified Team Laps Result
DNF. Zsolt Dávid Szabó Zengõ Motorsport 6 Mechanical
DNF. Tom Coronel Boutsen Ginion Racing 5 Damage
DNF. John Filippi Team OSCARO by Campos Racing 4 Mechanical
DNF. Fabrizio Giovanardi it Mulsanne SRL 3 Damage
DNF. Aurélien Panis Comtoyou Racing 1 Collision

* Post-Race Penalties:

  • Pepe Oriola – who provisionally finished 12th – was awarded a 10-second time penalty for exceeding the track’s limits.
  • Mat’o Homola – who provisionally finished 16th – was awarded a 10-second time penalty for exceeding the track’s limits.

Image via FIA WTCR 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.