Morbidelli clings on for first WTCC win

Morbidelli clings on for first WTCC win

Photo by FIA WTCC Media

Photo by FIA WTCC MediaMünnich Motorsport’s Gianni Morbidelli clung on in a tense second World Touring Car Championship race in Hungary, taking his first win ahead of Tiago Monteiro and Hugo Valente.

Italian Morbidelli got off to a strong start and was in the lead by turn one, passing poleman Valente on the inside of the turn. Valente himself dropped down to third as Honda’s Monteiro also got off to a stronger start to move into second at the same time.

Thereafter the race was all about defence, with Morbidelli forced to heavily defend from Monteiro for the duration. Their cause was helped somewhat by fourth-placed finisher Tom Coronel holding up the progress of the Citroën duo of Yvan Muller and José María López.

Morbidelli thus entered the closing laps with half a second advantage over Monteiro, but comfortable in the knowledge that the Citroën’s were kept at bay further back. Slight contact from Monteiro at the chicane lost Morbidelli ground, allowing Valente to close right up and create an exciting finish. The 46-year-old was however able to hold on and claim his first win in the series.

Coronel too would ultimately hold on to his fourth-placed position, despite heavy pressure from Muller, who also had to defend from López in the closing laps. Muller would finish fifth, ahead of title rival López in sixth.

Tom Chilton, who started fourth, finished in seventh after a poor opening lap. Eighth went to Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini, who enjoyed a close battle with ninth-placed finisher Sébastien Loeb of Citroën.

Norbert Michelisz completed the top ten in his Zengő Motorsport Honda, unable to deliver the type of result his Hungarian fans came to see.

Victory in the TC2 class went to Liqui moly Team Engstler’s Franz Engslter, ahead of race one winner Pasquale di Sabatino.

There were further problems for LADA’s Mikhail Kozlovskiy in race two, who retired after 11 laps, whilst Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani was unable to take up his fifth place grid position due to turbo-related problems.

Top ten result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP GD
1 10 TC1 Gianni MORBIDELLI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 14 LAPS 1:51.089 2
2 18 TC1 Tiago MONTEIRO Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 14 0.35 1:51.088 7
3 7 TC1 Hugo VALENTE Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 1.206 1:51.311 1
4 4 TC1 Tom CORONEL ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 5.104 1:51.582 3
5 1 TC1 Yvan MULLER Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 5.435 1:51.471 10
6 37 TC1 José María LÓPEZ Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 5.605 1:51.533 9
7 3 TC1 Tom CHILTON ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 6.306 1:51.543 4
8 2 TC1 Gabriele TARQUINI Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 14 7.828 1:51.669 6
9 9 TC1 Sébastien LOEB Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 8.308 1:51.611 8
10 5 TC1 Norbert MICHELISZ Zengő Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 14 8.842 1:51.814 11

Complete race results