On the 4.3 km Hungaroring circuit, the Frenchman produces great performance by closing in 8th overall; Gordon Shedden, starting from 13th row, finishes 18th with several overtakes despite brake issues. The Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team confirms as the best Audi team on the grid, while Ehrlacher scores the Saturday victory.
WTCR – Race of Hungary took its bow at a bright and sunny Hungaroring this morning. Local hero Norbert Michelisz made a perfect weekend start on home soil by topping the FP1 session and by securing the Pole Position for Race1.
Marrakech Race 2 winner Jean-Karl Vernay was the best of the Audi contingent, in 11th: the Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team driver took his RS 3 LMS in a time of 1’53.900; while his teammate, triple British Touring Car champion, Gordon Shedden had to start from 25th position on his first visit to the Hungaroring.
Race 1 of WTCR Race of Hungary took place at 15:25 local time. After soaring from fifth on the grid to the lead in just two corners, Yann Ehrlacher scored the Saturday victory: the Frenchman made a great start, but it was a squabble between the drivers ahead at Turn 2 that gave him an opportunistic lead he would not lose.
In that begging chaos the Thed Bjork’s Hyundai dropped from third on the grid to 8th place, right in front of Jean-Karl Vernay’s Audi RS 3 LMS. On lap 4, the former TCR Champ put his rival in his sight and overtook the Swedish with a superb maneuver.
On a track recognized as one of the most difficult to overtake Gordon Shedden fought his way through the field to overtake his rivals starting from behind on the grid. The Scottish, despite brake issues, managed to fill the gap improving lap by lap from 25th till final 18th to the flag.
Norbert Michelisz delivered a second Pole Position at WTCR Race of Hungary for his adoring home crowd in a thrilling qualifying shootout at the Hungaroring this morning. The local hero driver inspired an eruption of noise from the main grandstand. Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil teammates, Jean-Karl Vernay and Gordon Shedden, closed the Qualifying session in 14th & 19th respectively, both focused to Race 2 which took place at 15:30 local time.
Rob Huff drew on all of his vast experience to control the reverse-grid Race 2 all the way to score his first victory in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup: the Briton converted his Pole Position into the lead at the start, diving right to hug the inside line into Turn 1 and hold off fellow front row starter the local wildcard entry Daniel Nagy, who was cheered all the way by a wildly enthusiastic partisan crowd. Yvan Muller, who started fifth in his YMR Hyundai, completed the podium.
Gabriele Tarquini broke the hearts of the enthusiastic masses in the main grandstand by beating national hero and team-mate Norbert Michelisz to victory in Race 3: the Italian veteran extended his points lead since the first braking at Turn 1. Meanwhile, Esteban Guerrieri was judged to have jumped the start with a drive-through penalty and drop down the order. On Lap 3 the safety car was called on track to remove the Aurélien Panis’ car, as racing resumed on Lap 5. But 1 lap later, the threat of rain had hung over the circuit and the race was red flagged before a new restart in dry conditions.
In both Race2 & Race3 Jean-Karl Vernay managed an impressive start, completing a twice Top 10 as he once again proved to be the best of the Audi RS 3 LMS entries. His Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil teammate Gordon Shedden managed a remarkable comeback fight in each of today’s races for the prestigious mark of the four rings, claimed 15th and 12th place after a long battle against his rivals.
#69 Jean-Karl VERNAY:
“Today was tricky I would say. It wasn't the greatest track for our car but we did well to qualify in P11 and then finish the race in P8, but scoring the points. Not too bad especially when we compare ourselves to the other Audi cars. I'm pretty happy with my own performance but I hope the championship will change the BOP.”
“Well it was a difficult Sunday. I tried to do my best but we were really far, almost two seconds off the pace which is huge and unacceptable. First Audi again and I was able to make two really good races. I improved from P15 to the top ten and some points, it was the best we could do. We all hope the Audi will get better chance in the next race.”
#52 Gordon SHEDDEN:
“I finished Day 1 at Hungary quite well but there are still a few little things we are trying to improve for tomorrow. But we are always looking forward with positivity and I think we can make a good step overnight and we will come out ready for both races tomorrow.”
“We leave Hungary with a lot to think about and lots of areas to improve. For one reason or another this circuit didn't quite suit the Audi but we can look forward with lots of optimism to the Nurburgring in two weeks. A fantastic circuit, a real race circuit, and hopefully we can have good results there.”
Free Practice 1 : p 15 - J.K. Vernal / p 26 - G. Shedden
Free Practice 2 : p 24 - G. Shedden / p 26 - J.K. Vernal
1 - N. Michelisz / HUN / BRC Racing / Hyundai i30 N / 1’52.644
2 - E. Guerreri / ARG / All-Inkl.com / Honda Civic / 1’52.900
3 - T. Bjork / SWE / MRacing YMR / Hyundai i30 N / 1’53.063
11 - J.K. Vernay / FRA / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / Audi RS 3 LMS / 1’53.900
25 - G. Shedden / GBR / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / Audi RS 3 LMS / 1’55.323
Race 1 :
1 - Y. Ehrlacher / FRA / All-Inkl.com / Honda Civic / 12 Laps
2 - E. Guerreri / ARG / All-Inkl.com / Honda Civic / +0.692
3 - N. Michelisz / HUN / BRC Racing / Hyundai i30 N / +5.942
8 - J.K. Vernay / FRA / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / Audi RS 3 LMS / +15.403
18 - G. Shedden / GBR / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / Audi RS 3 LMS / +33.978
1 - Michelisz / HUN / BRC Racing / Hyundai i30 N / 1’52.365
2 - Tarquini / ITA / BRC Racing / Hyundai i30 N / 1’52.807
3 - Guerrieri / ARG / All-Inkl.com / Hyundai i30 N / 1’53.023
14 - Vernay / FRA / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / 1’53.981
19 - Shedden / GBR / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / 1’54.610
1 - Huff / GBR / Sebastian Loeb Racing / VW Golg GTi / 12 Laps
2 - Nagy / HUN / M1RA / Hyundai i30 N / +0.562
3 - Muller / FRA / MRacing YMR / Hyundai i30 N / +2.200
10 - Vernay / FRA / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / +19.896
15 - Shedden / GBR / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / +25.916
1 - Tarquini / ITA / BRC Racing / Hyundai i30 N / 17 Laps
2 - Michelisz / HUN / BRC Racing / Hyundai i30 N / +0.354
3 - Muller / FRA / MRacing YMR / Hyundai i30 N / +3.691
10 - Vernay / FRA / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / +17.645
12 - Shedden / GBR / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / +22.769
Drivers’ World Standing :
1 - G. Tarquini / 118 points
2 - Y. Ehrlancher / 82 p
3 - Y. Muller / 77 p.
7 - J.K. Vernay / 49 p.
14 - G. Shedden / 12 p.
Teams’ World Standing :
1 - BRC Racing / 200 points
2 - MRacing YMR / 146 p.
3 - All-Inkl.com / 133 p.
4 - Sebastien Loeb Racing / 115 p.
5 - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / 71 p.