Muller And Chevrolet Dominate Race 1 In Hungary

by Peter Allen
Yvan Muller, Rob Huff and Alain Menu - Photo Credit: WTCC Media

Muller led home teammates Huff and Menu - Photo Credit: WTCC Media

Yvan Muller claimed his fifth win of the World Touring Car Championship season with a comfortable driver to victory in Race 1 in Hungary as Chevrolet teammates Rob Huff and Alain Menu completed the podium.

The trio of Cruzes started the race in that same order, but Gabriele Tarquini made a traditionally flying start in his Lukoil SEAT. He ran three wide into Turn 1 with Muller and Huff but collided with Huff as he turned in, causing him to go up onto two wheels and then run wide.

At the same time, local hero Norbert Michelisz received contact from slow-starting Menu behind and ran into the Special Tuning Racing SEAT of Darryl O'Young. On the exit of the corner the BMWs of Franz Engstler, Stefano D'Aste and Gabor Weber tangled, while Tom Boardman exited stage right.

All this allowed Mehdi Bennani to sneak down the inside and past Huff into second place, but the Moroccan was eased back down to third behind Huff and Menu at Turn 2.

The Chevrolets then streaked away at the front, and although Menu had a go at trying to get by Huff in the middle of the race, they held station until the flag. Bennani meanwhile drove a clean race to finish as the best of the rest in fourth and win the Yokohama Trophy.

The main story of the race became Michelisz's recovery up the order after the first corner incident that left him down in 11th, urged on by the vocal Hungarian crowds.

He first got by Zengo Motorsport teammate Weber, and then the bamboo engineering Chevrolet Cruze of Pasquale di Sabatino. One lap three he got by di Sabatino's teammate Alex MacDowall, and then past James Nash, who also slipped behind MacDowall in the process.

Michelisz caught Pepe Oriola immediately, but had to work hard to get by the SEAT which had superior straight line speed. He eventually passed the Spaniard on the penultimate lap of the race. Tom Coronel followed him through in his BMW, the Dutchman having worked his way up from 20th on the grid after having his qualifying times disallowed for a parc ferme infringement.

Michelisz caught up with fifth-placed Tiago Monteiro on the last lap, but as he was eyeing up a move Coronel dived down his inside and forced Michelisz wide to take sixth. Oriola came home in eighth, with MacDowall ninth and Weber tenth.

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