WTCR Race 2 flash: Cool Huff wins reverse grid thriller from Nagy
Briton Rob Huff drew on all of his vast experience to control the reverse-grid Race 2 all the way at WTCR Race of Hungary to score his first victory in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO at the Hungaroring this afternoon.
The Sébastien Loeb Racing driver converted his DHL Pole Position into the lead at the start, his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR diving right to hug the inside line into Turn 1 and hold off fellow front row starter Dániel Nagy.
Nagy, the local wildcard entry, who was cheered all the way by a wildly enthusiastic partisan crowd, impressed in his chase of Huff. But the M1RA Hyundai i30 N TCR didn’t quite have enough to make a move on the 2012 World Touring Car champion.
“It was brilliant,” said an overjoyed Huff. “Sébastien Loeb Racing gave me an awesome car this weekend to keep a Hyundai behind us. It was close in a few places and Dániel drove really well. It’s nice for him to do so well at home.”
Huff’s victory in the Golf means four customer racing brands have won in the five races run so far, highlighting just how competitive the new WTCR is proving to be.
Yvan Muller, who started fifth in his YMR Hyundai, completed the podium ahead of a charging championship leader Gabriele Tarquini in his BRC Racing Team i30 N TCR. The Italian, who lined up eighth, made up two places at the start and then passed James Thompson for fifth on lap four. Thompson’s ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR would later slow with a misfire, costing the Briton a solid points finish.
Tarquini claimed fourth on lap 10 of 12 with a committed move on Esteban Guerrieri at Turn 2, nudging the Honda as he did so.
Crowd favourite Norbert Michelisz claimed sixth after winning a long battle with Mehdi Bennani in the second Sébastien Loeb Racing Golf. The Hungarian was careful to avoid damaging his BRC Hyundai given that he starts this afternoon’s Race 3 from the DHL Pole Position.
Behind Bennani, Belgian teenager Benjamin Lessennes claimed a solid eighth place in his Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda, with Zsolt Zsabó giving the local fans more reason to cheer in ninth driving the MOL-supported Zengő Motorsport Cupra TCR. Jean-Karl Vernay completed the top 10 in the first of the Audi RS 3 LMS entries.
Those out of luck within the 27-car field included Race 1 winner Yann Erhlacher who lost power while running in P11 in his Honda, while the two Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR collided. Former grand prix driver Gianni Morbidelli described the clash with Fabrizio Giovanardi as a “misunderstanding”.
Race 3 of WTCR Race of Hungary will start at 16h55 local time.