Hyundai’s Mikel Azcona converted his pole position to victory in the opening FIA World Touring Car Cup race at the Hungaroring, easing to victory ahead of Cyan Racing’s Yann Ehrlacher and Comtoyou Racing’s Nathanaël Berthon.
Azcona made a strong start to hold his lead into the first corner with relative ease, although Gilles Magnus did try to go around the outside at the first corner, the Audi driver quickly dropping back to fourth, from where he had started.
Thereafter Azcona didn’t come under any significant pressure in the relatively sedate race, easing to his second win of the season by just under two seconds.
Berthon had held second for almost the entire distance, but on the penultimate lap he went wide at Turn 12, opening the door for reigning hcampion Ehrlacher to slip through.
Ehrlacher then held second for the final lap, giving the Frenchman a first podium finish of the season, whilst Berthon completed the podium, apparently once again struggling with fading tyres towards the end of the race.
Despite near race-long pressure from Ma Qing Hua, Magnus held on to bring his Audi home in fourth, with Ma in fifth having been warned about driving standards at one stage after getting too familiar with the RS3 ahead.
Zengő Motorsport’s Rob Huff took the chequered flag in sixth, the Brit having overtaken Esteban Guerrieri for seventh at the first corner on the second lap, before then finding a way past the second Münnich Motorsport car of Néstor Girolami on the next lap.
Girolami held on to take seventh as the best of the Honda drivers, although the result has seen him lose the lead of the drivers’ championship to Azcona.
Girolami’s team-mate Esteban Guerrieri ran in seventh initially, under heavy pressure from Cyan Racing’s Santiago Urrutia. The latter had pushed Guerrieri into a slide on lap six, but both held on, and Urrutia finally found a way past for eighth on the tenth lap at the first corner, with Guerrieri looking for a switchback move which didn’t pay off.
Guerrieri thus ended the race in ninth, staving off pressure from another Lynk & Co car of Yvan Muller, who completed the top ten.
Thed Björk followed his team-mate home in 11th, with home hero Norbert Michelisz finishing in 12th, a five-place grid penalty carried over from the first event in France meaning he started down in 13th and struggled to make any progress.
Indeed, Michelisz had slipped back to 13th on lap seven when he tried to get by Björk but instead opened the door for Mehdi Bennani’s Audi, although he found a way back through later in the race.
Bennani finished in 13th and was initially ahead of team-mate Tom Coronel on the road, but the latter was handed a five-second time penalty for having hit Dániel Nagy’s CUPRA on the second lap, in a move which dropped Nagy to last.
Race two is scheduled to get underway at 16:45 CEST (15:45 BST).
|1||96||Mikel AZCONA||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||17||17 LAPS||1:53.163||1|
|2||68||Yann EHRLACHER||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||17||1.895||1:53.789||3|
|3||17||Nathanaël BERTHON||Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||17||3.331||1:53.585||2|
|4||16||Gilles MAGNUS||Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||17||4.829||1:54.116||4|
|5||55||MA Qing Hua||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||17||5.259||1:54.158||6|
|6||79||Rob HUFF||Zengő Motorsport Services Kft||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||17||6.076||1:54.026||8|
|7||29||Néstor GIROLAMI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||17||11.483||1:54.908||7|
|8||12||Santiago URRUTIA||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||17||12.098||1:54.732||9|
|9||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||17||15.109||1:55.137||5|
|10||100||Yvan MULLER||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||17||15.974||1:55.067||10|
|11||11||Thed BJÖRK||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||17||16.694||1:54.677||12|
|12||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||17||17.477||1:54.142||13|
|13||25||Mehdi BENNANI||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||17||22.212||1:54.425||15|
|14||9||Attila TASSI||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||17||30.283||1:55.475||14|
|15||33||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||17||33.521||1:55.160||16|
|16||18||Tiago MONTEIRO||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||17||37.118||1:55.767||17|
|17||99||Dániel NAGY||Zengő Motorsport Services Kft||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||17||37.529||1:56.395||11|