Gianni Morbidelli stops Citroën’s winning run in Hungary
Münnich Motorsport’ Gianni Morbidelli took his first victory in the FIA World Touring Car Championship and the first for the new RML-built Chevrolet Cruze in the second race in Hungary, with the best placed Citroën that of Yvan Muller in fifth position.
Just 19 cars made the start after Mehdi Bennani’s Proteam Honda had a turbo problem right at the end of the first race, which played into Tiago Monteiro’s favour, who had a clear run at the start and launched from the seventh grid slot to second at the start.
From the front row though, Morbidelli got through into the lead, with Hugo Valente slipping to third in the Campos-run Chevrolet.
Tom Coronel was fourth and ahead of the fast-starting Citroëns of Yvan Muller and José María López, who were up to fifth and sixth at the end of the first lap.
Just as in race one however, the start set the order, with very few opportunities to pass at the Hungarian circuit.
Morbidelli was under constant pressure throughout from Monteiro’s Honda, with the Chevrolet driver able to edge away in the first sector while the Honda was stronger in the final sector.
Likewise Tom Coronel was defending throughout the race to hold on to fourth, his best result of the season, from Yvan Muller, who was then challenged by team-mate López in the final laps but to no avail.
Tom Chilton finished seventh ahead of Gabriele Tarquini’s Honda, who was holding off Sébastien Loeb’s Citroën, which hadn’t had as good a start as his two team-mates, with local hero Norbert Michelisz just moving up one spot to tenth, the final points position.
In TC2T, Franz Engstler took his fifth win of the season ahead of team-mate Pasquale Di Sabatino, with John Filippi third in the Campos SEAT, with Yukinori Taniguchi failing to make the finish in the NIKA Racing Honda.
José María López maintains the lead of the drivers’ standings on 115 points, with Yvan Muller just ten points behind with Sébastien Loeb now 31 points adrift.
The next round of the Championship is at the Slovakiaring next weekend.