Outsiders party at Hungaroring, disaster for Citroen and Honda
Mehdi Bennani is the winner of the WTCC opening race at Hungaroring. Sebastien Loeb Racing’s driver easily clinched the first victory this season as he was on the top from the start and never was really challenged by his rivals.
Rain caused troubles to favorites
Before the start of the race home crowd, favorite N0orbert Michelisz was forced to retire due to engine failure while Gabriele Tarquini pitted for the tires change. The start of the opening race was quite interesting after Yvan Muller moved up to second. All the cars suffered as light rain caused troubles. Neither of the cars had tires for the wet track, so we could see many slides and small contacts.
Too many mistakes were seen and the standings are being changed often. Muller dropped to 11th place on lap 3 while Bennani kept his lead ahead of Ekblom, Catsburg, Chilton and Filippi who later penalized with a drive-through penalty. Gabriele Tarquini looked well as he moved up lap by lap while Hondas and Citroens were really poor. Reigning champion Jose Maria Lopez pitted for tires change, Rob Huff was struggling to stay in the points zone while Tiago Monteiro and Muller were almost a minute behind the leader.
Honda and Citroen out of Top 10
Bennani looked confident through the whole race but his teammate Tom Chilton also did a great job finishing second after beating Nick Catsburg in the penultimate lap of the race. Lada driver finished third, Fredrik Ekblom in Volvo was fourth while Gabriele Tarquini on fifth and Hugo Valente on sixth place completed the good race for the Russian side.
Gregoire Demoustiere, John Filippi, Ferenc Ficza and Rene Munnich also scored points in the WTCC opening race at Hungaroring.