The Chevrolet Cruzes claimed their third 1-2-3 win of the season in Budapest as Yvan Muller, Rob Huff and Alain Menu dominated the first race in front of a huge crowd at a warm and sunny Hungaroring.
Chevrolet managed another podium finish in Race 2 with Alain Menu finishing 2nd after a brilliant race.
In Race 1, the three RML run Cruzes started from the front of the grid and never looked back. Tarquini tried to pass Huff and Muller on the outside at the first corner but the Italian’s SEAT touched Huff’s car and went off. From there, Muller, Huff and Menu controlled the race and secured a wonderful 1-2-3.
Race 2 was an emotional moment for the many Hungarian fans present at the track as local hero Norbert Michelisz took a flag to flag win after a sensational start. Starting from the fourth row, Alain Menu gradually climbed up positions and finished second. Huff and Muller, who started from the fifth row, fought for positions with the SEATs of Monteiro and Tarquini and the BMWs of D’Aste and Engstler. Eventually, they finished 7th (Huff) and 10th (Muller).
Ahead of the 6th round of the season at the Salzburgring in Austria on 20 May, Chevrolet has a 135 point lead in the Manufacturers’ standings, while Muller, Menu and Huff are within 30 points of each other on top of the Drivers’ standings
Yvan Muller (1st/10th): “It was a good weekend all in all. Race 1 was quite straightforward. Once we got past the first corner, half the job was done. After that, I just focused on driving in the cleanest way possible and made sure not to make any mistakes. I knew that given the pace I had throughout the weekend, it would have been difficult for my teammates to pass me. Everything went well and it was a clean win.
“Race 2 was more difficult as Rob and I got stuck behind the SEATs. In the closing laps, I had to defend my position from the BMWs of D’Aste and Engstler. I ran wide in the last lap and it cost me two positions.”
Alain Menu (3rd/2nd): “This was definitely a very good weekend for the team and me. Two podium results and a considerable haul of points is great, but what pleases me most is my engineer and mechanics’ quality of the work – we are really doing a good job and improving round after round.
“I can’t say much about Race 1. There was some action at the start in the straight and at Turn 1. I lost a couple of positions but managed to overtake Monteiro and Bennani, and rejoin Rob. I even tried to pass him when we got into a dirty portion of the track, but there wasn’t much I could do, so I stayed put and took third.
“Race 2 was much more exciting, I think I had a great race, attacking without taking excessive risks. It wasn’t easy with Monteiro first and then Bennani and Oriola. Finishing second from P8 on the grid is not bad at all. Michelisz was too far away in the closing lap, and to be honest it’s nice to see him having his day of glory at his home race.”
Rob Huff (2nd/7th): “I’m pleased with the results as I reduced the points gap in the championship despite dropping a position. Race 1 was another great team success for Chevrolet and RML. At the first corner there was contact with Tarquini. He was trying an impossible overtake from the outside line and he hit me. Luckily, I stayed on the track but the handling of my car was somewhat compromised. In the circumstances, I’m happy with second.
“Obviously, I’m not massively pleased with 7th in the second race, but we couldn’t do any better. I got stuck behind Tarquini and had Yvan behind me, so I had to be very cautious. Unfortunately, this is a circuit where overtaking is not easy, as turns are a succession of left and right handers and this makes it very difficult to pass if the car in front of you has a similar pace.”
Eric Nève: “Another 1-2-3 and our championship lead extended, we are very happy. It is also very nice to see such a large crowd enjoying their hero’s success; that’s very good for the WTCC.
“Alain and I are going to Vienna Monday to promote the next round at the Salzburgring. This will be the first WTCC event ever in Austria and we expect to see many fans there. Staying in Central Europe – where touring car racing is so popular – is positive and will help build momentum around the Championship.”
BUDAPEST RACE 1 RESULT
1. Y Muller Chevrolet Cruze 12 laps in 23m23s462
2. R Huff Chevrolet Cruze + 1s259
3. A Menu Chevrolet Cruze + 1s759
4. M Bennani BMW 320TC +10s983
5. T Monteiro SEAT León WTCC +15s983
9. A MacDowall Chevrolet Cruze +18s106
12. P Di Sabatino Chevrolet Cruze +26s296
BUDAPEST RACE 2 RESULTS
1. N Michelisz BMW 320 TC 12 laps in 23m37s603
2. A Menu Chevrolet Cruze + 1s805
3. M Bennani BMW 320TC + 4s998
4. P Oriola SEAT León WTCC + 6s221
5. T Monteiro SEAT León WTCC + 8s020
7. R Huff Chevrolet Cruze + 9s077
10. Y Muller Chevrolet Cruze +11s572
11. A MacDowall Chevrolet Cruze +13s174
15. P Di Sabatino Chevrolet Cruze +23s189
WTCC DRIVERS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 10 OF 24
1. Muller (Chevrolet), 180; 2. Menu (Chevrolet), 157; 3. Huff (Chevrolet), 150; 4. Coronel (BMW), Tarquini (SEAT), 97…
WTCC MANUFACTURERS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 10 OF 24
1. Chevrolet, 415 points; 2. BMW, 278; 3. SEAT, 262.
NEXT RACE: Race of Austria, Salzburgring, 19-20 May 2012.
The RML Group comprises the following divisions; Motorsport, Automotive, Engines and Events. Based in Northamptonshire, England, the company’s 4,300 square metre facility includes design, development, manufacturing and operational support for international race/rally programmes and automotive engineering projects including performance engine development. Since its formation in 1984 RML has achieved success in a diverse range of motorsport categories including GT/sportscars, touring cars, rally cars, single seaters and oval speedway cars.
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