Defending FIA World Touring Car Cup champion Gabriele Tarquini claimed victory in the final race at the Hungaroring, leading home teammate Norbert Michelisz to clinch a BRC Racing Hyundai 1-2 finish.
With light drizzle continuing to persist, home town hero Michelisz made a poor getaway from pole position and was jumped by points leader Esteban Guerrieri at the start, with Tarquini slotting into second place through the opening sequence of corners.
The midfield saw rather less contact than was apparent in Race 2, although Cyan Racing Yvan Muller managed to bump his Lynk & Co stablemate Andy Priaulx well off-track at Turn 4. That sent the Guernseyman tumbling down the order, while Muller was quickly issued a drive-through penalty and later opted to retire from the race with the prospect of a points finish all but gone.
Following back-to-back victories for teammate Néstor Girolami in Races 1 and 2 this weekend, Guerrieri looked set to complete a Münnich Motorsport whitewash of the event until he had a slow exit from Turn 5 on the fifth lap. Tarquini and Michelisz pounced, sailing past the Argentine driver before the Turn 6/7 chicane.
Guerrieri’s pace returned but he was unable to close back up to the leading Hyundai pair. His race came to a sudden end on Lap 12 when he suffered an failure on the front left corner on his Honda at the final turn that sent him spearing into the barriers.
That required a Safety Car intervention and when the race resumed Tarquini scampered off into the lead after getting the jump on Michelisz.
The Safety Car was almost immediately called into action when Kevin Ceccon speared his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo into the barriers. With just two laps left to run, the race finished under full-course yellows.
Tarquini and Michelisz therefore claimed an emphatic 1-2 finish, with Cyan Performance driver Yann Ehrlacher atoning for a difficult weekend for the new Lynk & Co by finishing in third place which he inherited after Guerrier’s crash.
The French youngster spent much of the race fending off a train of cars, with Mikel Azcona claiming more points for the PWR Racing Cupra team by finishing in fourth place ahead of Thed Björk (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co).
Girolami finished in sixth place in the sole Münnich Motorsport Honda to move into the outright lead of the Drivers’ Championship standings, while Rob Huff secured back-to-back seventh placed finishes in his Sébastien Loeb Racing VW Golf GTI.
All four Hyundais managed to finish inside the top-ten, with the BRC Lukoil Racing pair of Augusto Farfus and Nicky Catsburg in eighth and ninth respectively, while WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay was once again the lead Audi driver in tenth.
|2019 FIA WTCR Race of Hungary – Race 3 Final Classification (17 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result||Pts|
|1.||Gabriele Tarquini||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||17||34:52.476||25|
|2.||Norbert Michelisz||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||17||+ 0.739||20|
|3.||Yann Ehrlacher||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||17||+ 1.535||16|
|4.||Mikel Azcona||PWR Racing||17||+ 1.785||13|
|5.||Thed Björk||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||17||+ 2.112||11|
|6.||Néstor Girolami||Münnich Motorsport||17||+ 2.862||10|
|7.||Rob Huff||SLR VW Motorsport||17||+ 3.051||9|
|8.||Augusto Farfus||BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team||17||+ 3.721||8|
|9.||Nicky Catsburg||BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team||17||+ 5.770||7|
|10.||Jean-Karl Vernay||Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport||17||+ 6.582||6|
|11.||Aurélien Panis||Comtoyou Team DHL Cupra Racing||17||+ 6.892||5|
|12.||Frédéric Vervisch||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||17||+ 7.351||4|
|13.||Tom Coronel||Comtoyou Team DHL Cupra Racing||17||+ 8.656||3|
|14.||Attila Tassi||KCMG||17||+ 10.748||2|
|15.||Mehdi Bennani||SLR VW Motorsport||17||+ 12.549||1|
|16.||Tiago Monteiro||KCMG||17||+ 14.107|
|17.||Benjamin Leuchter||SLR Volkswagen||17||+ 14.662|
|18.||Niels Langeveld||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||17||+ 14.862|
|19.||Ma Qing Hua||Team Mulsanne||17||+ 18.418|
|20.||Andy Priaulx||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||17||+ 18.932|
|21.||Gordon Shedden||Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport||17||+ 19.836|
|22.||Johan Kristoffersson||SLR Volkswagen||17||+ 20.175|
|23.||Tamás Tenke (WC)||Zengő Motorsport||17||+ 21.292|
|24.||Daniel Haglöf||PWR Racing||17||+ 21.547|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Reason|
|DNF.||Kevin Ceccon||Team Mulsanne||14||Accident|
|DNF.||Esteban Guerrieri||Münnich Motorsport||10||Accident|
|DNF.||Yvan Muller||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||9||Retired|
- The top fifteen classified finishers and their respective teams are awarded championship points on a 25-20-16-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 sliding scale.
- Nicky Catsburg was issued a reprimand and a one-point endorsement on his championship license for causing avoidable contact with Yvan Muller.
- Kevin Ceccon was issued a reprimand and a one-point endorsement on his championship license for causing avoidable contact with Gordon Shedden.
Images via FIA WTCR Media