WTCR Race 2 flash: Urrutia fends off Hungary Huff’s determined challenge
Santiago Urrutia fought off Rob Huff to win the partially reversed-grid Race 2 at WTCR Race of Hungary as the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup completed an action-packed Hungaroring weekend.
Cyan Performance Lynk & Co’s Urrutia started from pole position, held off Huff’s Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición at the start, then survived a safety car restart to win. But he had to soak up a great deal of pressure from Huff, who chased the Uruguayan hard all the way to the chequered flag.
“That was hard, it was very warm in the car,” said a delighted Urrutia. “I had no rest time in the race. Rob was pushing and I could not make a single mistake. I think I won the race on the restart. If I made a gap he could never get it back. But he was still there pushing. What a race. Thanks to Rob for the clean race.”
“Mega,” said Huff. “Congratulations to Santi. I threw everything I had at him, including a slightly quicker car. But he just didn’t give me any space, there was no room and nothing to try. After last year’s disaster [when he crashed in Race 1 and was unable to take up his Race 2 pole position] I wanted to make sure we got something solid this year and a podium here at the team’s home race is absolutely mega. We’ve raised the bar every single time. I thoroughly enjoyed the race.”
Néstor Girolami completed the podium in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, reducing the gap to new Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Mikel Azcona to nine points. The Race 1 winner finished ninth from P10 on the grid this time.
“Amazing job from the team over the weekend changing the set-up,” said Girolami. “In the first race I was struggling a lot, then we decided to take another direction in race two and it was quite good. I was surprised at the pace considering we are the heaviest here with 40kg. I am super-happy and it’s a really good moment we are fighting for the championship. I feel super-ready to go for it.”
Girolami held off home hero Norbert Michelisz in his BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR, with Cyan Performance Lynk & Co’s Ma Qing Hua shadowing them both to fifth with King of WTCR Yann Ehrlacher sixth.
Gilles Magnus claimed seventh in his Comtoyou Team Audi Sport entry ahead of Nathanaël Berthon, who was third in Race 1. Azcona was next ahead of Yvan Muller, the Frenchman fortunate to continue after the moment that brought out the Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition safety car.
Muller was challenging Esteban Guerrieri into Turn 1 when Mehdi Bennani’s Audi dived down the inside of the Lynk & Co. Muller drove away from the scene, but Bennani’s RS 3 LMS had a broken left-front wheel and was stranded.
The other major incident of the race also started with Bennani. He tapped Thed Björk’s Lynk & Co, which hit Dániel Nagy’s CUPRA. The home hero recovered, but at the next corner was hit by Tom Coronel’s Audi. Nagy’s Zengő entry was shoved into Björk, the Hungarian losing his right rear tyre in the impact.
Guerrieri finished in P11, ahead of Coronel, and Attila Tassi and Tiago Monteiro in their LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler Hondas.