to claim Honda’s maiden victory in the 2015 FIA World Touring Car Championship and end Citroën’s dominant start to the season.
Driving the revamped Civic WTCC for the first time, Michelisz capitalised on his pole position in the reverse-grid race two for an emotional win in front of 35,000 fans. The Zengő Motorsport driver’s success followed world champion José María López’s third triumph of 2015 for Citroën in the opening contest, which ensures the Argentine remains the driver to catch in the title chase heading to rounds seven and eight on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife later this month.
Yvan Muller and Hugo Valente completed the race one podium with Tom Coronel and Tom Chilton second and third respectively in race two in their Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1s. Valente and Michelisz were the two Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy winners. However, it was a case of mixed fortunes for LADA Sport Rosneft with Rob Huff’s ninth in the opening race the highlight.
RACE ONE ROUND-UP: LÓPEZ MAKES IT A WTCC HAT-TRICK
Starting from third on the grid, José María López blasted into the lead on the charge to the first corner and maintained his advantage out front to the flag, beating Citroën team-mate Yvan Muller to top spot. Hugo Valente, who started second to pole-sitter Muller, scored his second WTCC podium with a fine drive to third for Campos Racing, having been unable to fend off the fast-starting López. Muller, meanwhile, blamed a sluggish getaway for his failure to hold the lead and continue his tally of Hungaroring wins, which had dated back to 2011. Ma Qing Hua took fourth after he withstood intense pressure from Tiago Monteiro, who was the first of the Honda Civic WTCC drivers home in fifth. Sébastien Loeb completed the top six having lost time when he was eased wide exiting the first corner, the contact affecting the handling of his Citroën. Tom Chilton finished seventh, home hero Norbert Michelisz was eighth, Rob Huff took ninth for LADA with Tom Coronel completing the top 10 to land his first drivers’ points of 2015.
RACE TWO ROUND-UP: HOME CROWD ROARS MICHELISZ TO VICTORY
Norbert Michelisz’s fourth win in the WTCC was perhaps his most momentous yet after he converted pole position into a dominant victory on home soil, with the local fans cheering his every move. The Hungarian never put a wheel wrong as he cruised to first place in Honda’s upgraded Civic WTCC. Tom Coronel and Tom Chilton were second and third respectively in their ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1s with Tiago Monteiro fourth for the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team. Sébastien Loeb made it through a second corner collision unscathed to finish fifth as the leading Citroën.
Team-mate and WTCC leader José María López was sixth in the reverse grid counter. Rob Huff was not so fortunate however, retiring his LADA with accident damage at the end of lap one. Hugo Valente took eighth behind Muller with Ma Qing Hua and Grégoire Demoustier ninth and 10th. John Filippi finished 11th, Stefano D’Aste 12th with Gabriele Tarquini setting the fastest lap after he battle back into contention following a tough start when he headed to the grass leaving the grid. Like Huff, Mikhail Kozlovskiy and Mehdi Bennani also posted retirements.