Julien Briché wins chaotic final race in Hungary
Julien Briché has claimed the second race victory at the Hungaroring in a wet-to-dry race, full of incident, with the French driver blasting his way past early leaders Santiago Urrutia and Daniel Nagy to take the win ahead of Comtoyou Racing’s Gilles Magnus, with Nagy finishing third.
Daniel Nagy blasted into the lead from third on the grid in his M1RA Hyundai i30 N TCR, but the race was soon suspended behind the safety car on lap one after two separate incidents, with the GT2 Motorsport Volkswagen Golf of Jáchym Galáš crashing out of the final corner at the start of the race (with the 37-car field backing over across Turn 14 due to the size of the field), while the Vukovic Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR of John Filippi crashed out at Turn 3.
The safety car was out for four laps before the race resumed with just 12 minutes remaining, but with light rain hitting the circuit, the race soon became even more dramatic.
At the restart, both the Target Hyundai of Dusan Borkovic and the JSB Peugeot 308TCR of Briché passed Urrutia’s WRT Audi RS 3 LMS at the start of lap five, and Briché and Borkovic began a two-lap battle, with Briché making his move past Borkovic at Turn 1 on lap seven when the Serbian slid out wide.
Briché was given a warning for driving standards following his battle with Borkovic, but the Frenchman was still making good progress, closing down on Nagy’s Hyundai and passing the Hungarian around the outside of Turn 11 on lap eight and began to pull away fast.
Gilles Magnus, in the Comtoyou Racing Audi, passed Borkovic for third on lap eight, and then overtook Nagy’s Hyundai at Turn 2 on lap nine.
A number of late race contacts in the slippery conditions saw the track peppered with broken cars, including the Hyundai of M Racing’s Natan Bihel, the Team Clairet Sport Peugeot of Jimmy Clairet and the Renault of Alex Morgan.
Briché won the race by 1.6 seconds over Magnus, with Nagy completing the podium.
Dusan Borkovic finished just off the podium in fourth, with Nelson Panciatici fifth in the M Racing Hyundai.
Santiago Urrutia held on to finish sixth in his WRT Audi, while Stéphane Lémeret, filling in for Tom Coronel at Boutsen Ginion Racing, put on a great drive to finish seventh after starting 19th in his Honda Civic.
Josh Files finished the race in eighth, despite starting from the pit lane after a late technical issue with his Hyundai, with Maxime Potty’s WRT Volkswagen ninth, and the PCR Sport Cupra of Davit Kajaia tenth.
Race 1 winner Mat’o Homola was down in 11th in his Target Hyundai, while Luca Engstler finished 12th in the M1RA Hyundai, after starting 37th, passing 25 cars on his way into the points after a brake failure in qualifying yesterday saw him crash out.
Julien Briché now leads the championship on 67 points, ten points clear of Nelson Panciatici, with Gilles Magnus two behind heading to the next round at Hockenheim on May 26th.