WTCR Race of Hungary 2019 - 26-28/04/2019

Located less than 20 kilometres northeast of Budapest, the Hungaroring is famed for hosting the first Formula One grand prix behind the old Iron Curtain in 1986. Ever-present on the F1 calendar since, the Hungaroring has also become a popular venue for world touring car racing, particularly since the emergence of Norbert Michelisz as a local hero and especially following his pole-to-flag victory in 2015. Resurfaced for 2016 with re-profiled kerbing to boot, the track blends tight turns and fast sweeps while its valley location makes for an initial descent before a climb back up to the high-speed Turn 4.

WTCR / OSCARO delivered a weekend of hugely close and action-packed racing as Honda-powered Néstor Girolami took a double win to move into the lead on the #RoadToMalaysia.

But while there was joy for Argentina, the thousands of Hungarian fans cheering home hero Norbert Michelisz had to make do with second place following Gabriele Tarquini’s Race 3 victory at the expense of his BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse team-mate.

As in 2018, Michelisz started on the DHL Pole Position but was unable to keep Tarquini – the inaugural WTCR / OSCARO title winner – behind.

After finishing third in Race 1 to take the title lead, Esteban Guerrieri was fifth in Race 2 before dropping out of the Race 3 lead when an electrical issue triggered a momentary power loss. And it would get worse for the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver when he crashed into retirement later on with broken steering, the legacy of damage sustained in Race 2.

Yvan Muller bagged his first podium of 2019 with second in Race 1, while his nephew and fellow Lynk & Co-powered racer Yann Ehrlacher took third in Race 3, which, like Race 2, took place on a damp track.

Jean-Karl Vernay started the reverse-grid Race 2 from the DHL Pole Position but a clutch problem led to a sluggish start. He finished second ahead of Hungaroring rookie Daniel Haglöf, the Swede claiming the new PWR Racing’s second podium of the season, one place ahead of CUPRA-driving team-mate Mikel Azcona, who also took fourth in Race 3.

Aurélien Panis was fifth in Race 1 for Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing. Thed Björk, who arrived in Hungary leading the standings, came away with a weekend-best fifth in Race 3. Rob Huff took the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy for his rapid effort in Race 3 at the wheel of his SLR Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

DHL Pole Position Race 1: Néstor Girolami (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 1 winner: Néstor Girolami (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 1 fastest lap: Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Audi RS 3 LMS

DHL Pole Position Race 2: Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Audi RS 3 LMS
Race 2 winner: Néstor Girolami (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
Race 2 fastest lap: Attila Tassi (HUN) Honda Civic Type R TCR

DHL Pole Position Race 3: Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 3 winner: Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
Race 3 fastest lap: Rob Huff (GBR) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy: Rob Huff (GBR) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver: Néstor Girolami (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR

Track essentials
Name: Hungaroring
Location: 2146 Mogyoród, Versenypálya 0222/2/3/6, Hungary
Length: 4.381 kilometres
Race 1 distance: 12 laps (52.572 kilometres)
Race 2 distance: 12 laps (52.572 kilometres)
Race 3 distance: 15 laps (65.715 kilometres)
Best laps
WTCR lap record (qualifying): Norbert Michelisz (Hyunda i30 N TCR), 1m52.176s (140.5kph), 29/04/18
WTCR lap record (race): Yann Ehrlacher (Honda Civic Type R TCR), 1m54.129s (138.1kph), 29/04/18
More details
Time zone: GMT +2 hours
Fly to: Budapest Airport (42 kilometres)
Stay: Budapest