Mikel Azcona converted his pole position into a lights-to-flag victory in WTCR Race 1 at the Hungaroring. This was the second consecutive victory for the Spaniard and his BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N after that in the second race at Pau and propelled him on top of the standings, 18 points clear of former leader Néstor Girolami.
Azcona sprinted from the pole to lead from Natanaël Berthon, Yann Ehrlacher, Gilles Magnus, Ma Qing Hua, Girolami and Esteban Guerrieri. At the beginning of lap 2, Rob Huff passed Guerrieri at T1 for P7 and then Girolami for P6 in the same turn, one lap later.
Up front, the leading trio began to break away as the gaps grew slowly. Guerrieri was fighting to defend the eighth position from Santiago Urrutia, while Magnus, Ma and Huff were involved in the battle for P4. In lap 6, Urrutia hit the back of Guerrieri’s car, but the Argentine was able to keep his place ahead of Urrutia, Yavn Muller and Thed Björk. Further behind, Mehdi Bennani overtook Norbert Michelisz for P12.
Halfway through the race, Azcona had increased the gap to two seconds, while Berthon was closely followed by Ehrlacher. In lap 10, Urrutia overtook Guerrieri for eighth, while Ma was shown the black-and-white flag for knocking on Magnus’ car’s rear bumper. The rest of the race was mostly processional; Azcona took the chequered flag 1.9 seconds ahead of Ehrlacher, who finally passed Berthon in the final lap.
The second race gets underway at 16:45 CEST, with Urrutia and Huff sharing the front row of the reversed grid.
Hungaroring – Race 1
1. Mikel Azcona (BRC Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N), 17 laps
2. Yann Ehrlacher (Cyan Racing, Lynk & Co 03), 1.895
3. Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS II), 3.331
1. M. Azcona 77 pts; 2. N. Girolami 59; 3. Y. Ehrlacher 53
Picture: FIA WTCR/DPPI