Local Hero Michelisz Thrills Hungarian Crowd With Race 2 Victory

by Peter Allen
Norbert Michelisz - Photo Credit: FIA WTCC

The bumper crowd got the result they came to see - Photo Credit: FIA WTCC

The Hungaroring erupted to celebrate a fantastic home victory for local hero Norbert Michelisz in the second of the day's WTCC races.

Michelisz started the race from fourth on the grid but got a very good launch in his rear-wheel drive BMW which helped him to take the lead of the race from the similar machine of polesitter Franz Engstler on the inside of Turn 1.

From there he drove a calm race to claim a second WTCC victory after the one he scored at the season finale in Macau in 2009, and a first on home soil for him and the small Hungarian outfit Zengo Motorsport.

Engstler was eased out to fourth on the first lap, with Pepe Oriola inheriting second place and Mehdi Bennani capitalising on a fast start in his BMW. Both drivers were chasing their first WTCC podium finishes but Bennani wanted second place. He made his move into Turn 1 on lap nine but forced Oriola wide, and the Chevrolet of Alain Menu drove through the gap and into second.

The gap between Michelisz and Menu at the start of lap 10 was 4.5 seconds, and although Menu managed to get that down to 1.8 seconds, Michelisz was able to ease it home to the checkered flag.

Bennani crossed the line in third to record his career best finish – bettering his previous record of fourth from Race 1. Oriola was made to wait for his maiden podium by finishing in fourth, ahead of two more Leon chassis of Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini.

Tarquini resisted race-long pressure from the Chevrolets of Rob Huff and Yvan Muller that had finished second and first in Race 1. Muller actually came under pressure in the closing stages from Stefano D'Aste, and the Frenchman ended up running wide and losing places to D'Aste and to Engstler and therefore only crossing the line in tenth.

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