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Hungary WTCR: Tarquini beats Michelisz in finale

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Hungary WTCR: Tarquini beats Michelisz in finale
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Apr 28, 2019, 3:00 PM

Reigning WTCR champion Gabriele Tarquini beat Hyundai team mate Norbert Michelisz to victory in the final race of the Hungaroring weekend.

Tarquini clinched his second victory of the season after a second safety car period neutralised the end of the race, moving up to fourth in the drivers' standings as a result.

Michelisz made a poor getaway from pole and slipped to third behind the Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic of Esteban Guerrieri and BRC Racing stablemate Tarquini.

Guerrieri, who had shared the lead of the standings with teammate Nestor Girolami before the start of the race, appeared to have the race under control in the early laps as he kept the Hyundais at bay.

But the Honda appeared to struggle to pick up the throttle exiting Turn 5 on lap five, with Tarquini pouncing off the corner and Michelisz also sneaking ahead on the approach to the Turn 6/7 chicane.

Guerrieri then went head on into the barrier on the outside of the final corner on lap 12, an incident that required the intervention of the safety car.

But any thoughts of a Michelisz fightback were quickly quashed when the Hungarian crossed the start/finish line 1.197 seconds behind his teammate on the restart.

A second safety car was called shortly after the restart when Kevin Ceccon (Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo) went off, and racing did not resume thereafter.

Guerrieri's late drama allowed Yann Ehrlacher to complete the podium in his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co.

Ehrlacher made a good getaway but lost out to Tarquini by hanging out on the wider line through the first corner, only to be promoted back to the final podium slot when Guerrieri went off.

Mikel Azcona scored a second fourth-place finish in a row to cap an excellent weekend for PWR Racing, while Thed Bjork - Cyan's lead representative in the drivers' standings - was fifth.

Girolami moved into an outright championship lead of 10 points thanks to his sixth-place finish, with Rob Huff making another run into the top 10 in his Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen in seventg.

The BRC Racing Hyundais of Augusto Farfus and Nicky Catsburg were eighth and ninth ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay (WRT Audi RS3 LMS).

Aside from Guerrieri and Ceccon, Yvan Muller was the only other retiree. The four-time World Touring Car champion had been given a drive-through penalty for making contact with Cyan teammate Andy Priaulx on the opening lap and, having dropped to last, returned to the garage after completing nine laps.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Chassis Gap
1 1 Italy Gabriele Tarquini
Hyundai
2 5 Hungary Norbert Michelisz
Hyundai 0.739
3 68 France Yann Ehrlacher
Lynk & Co 1.535
4 96 Spain Mikel Azcona
Seat 1.785
5 11 Sweden Thed Björk
Lynk & Co 2.112
6 29 Argentina Nestor Girolami
Honda 2.862
7 12 United Kingdom Rob Huff
Volkswagen 3.051
8 8 Brazil Augusto Farfus
Hyundai 3.721
9 88 Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Hyundai 5.770
10 69 France Jean-Karl Vernay
Audi 6.582
11 21 France Aurelien Panis
Seat 6.892
12 22 Belgium Frederic Vervisch
Audi 7.351
13 50 Netherlands Tom Coronel
Seat 8.656
14 9 Hungary Attila Tassi
Honda 10.748
15 25 Morocco Mehdi Bennani
Volkswagen 12.549
16 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro
Honda 14.107
17 33 Germany Benjamin Leuchter
Volkswagen 14.662
18 10 Netherlands Niels Langeveld
Audi 14.862
19 55 China Ma Qing Hua
Alfa Romeo 18.418
20 111 Guernsey Andy Priaulx
Lynk & Co 18.932
21 52 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden
Audi 19.836
22 14 Sweden Johan Kristoffersson
Volkswagen 20.175
23 23 Hungary Tamas Tenke
Seat 21.292
24 37 Sweden Daniel Haglof
Seat 21.547
31 Italy Kevin Ceccon
Alfa Romeo 3 Laps
86 Argentina Esteban Guerrieri
Honda 7 Laps
100 France Yvan Muller
Lynk & Co 8 Laps
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Ehrlacher has "lost respect" for Tarquini after clash

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About this article

Series WTCR
Event Hungaroring
Drivers Gabriele Tarquini
Teams BRC Racing
Author Jack Cozens