Norbert Michelisz stops Citroën’s run of wins at his home race
Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz claimed victory at his home race for the second time in his career, also taking his fourth win in the WTCC with a lights-to-flag display in front of a packed home crowd at the Hungaroring.
Most of the drama of the race was reserved for the start, with John Filippi bogging down at the back in the Campos Racing Chevrolet. The young Corsican tried to cover Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini as he tried to pass on his left, forcing the Italian onto the grass, which meant he was forced to pit and clear his radiator.
Up front, Tom Chilton, starting second, lost a spot to his ROAL Chevrolet team-mate Tom Coronel into the first corner, while Michelisz kept the lead into the first turn.
A few spots back, the scrambling pack of Citroëns had contact between them, with Sébastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua touching on the exit of Turn 1 for the second race in succession, with Ma spun around and into the rear of Rob Huff’s Lada, with the Lada Vesta taking terminal damage while both Citroëns were able to continue.
The incident was investigated by the stewards during the race and deemed a racing incident.
From then on, Michelisz began to build his lead ahead of the fighting Chevrolet pair of Toms Coronel and Chilton, while the Citroëns were caged up behind the factory Honda of Tiago Monteiro in fourth.
Sébastien Loeb was the best placed of the Citroëns in fifth, and reduces his gap to points leader José María López to 33 points, with Yvan Muller just ten points behind. López crossed the line sixth ahead of Yvan Muller, while Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente finished eighth ahead of the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC of Ma Qing Hua ninth, with Craft-Bamboo Chevrolet driver Grégoire Demoustier completing the top ten.
Michelisz’s victory was the first for Honda since Suzuka last October when Gabriele Tarquini took the chequered flag in the second race, and stops Citroëns winning streak after five races this year.
The next round of the WTCC takes place on May 16th at the 21km Nürburgring Nordschleife special event.