Hungaroring WTCC: Yvan Muller takes pole-to-flag win in race one
|By Peter Mills||Sunday, May 4th 2014, 12:25 GMT|
Yvan Muller equalled Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez's 2014 record of two victories by leading from pole-to-flag in the opening World Touring Car Championship race at the Hungaroring.
Championship leader entering the meeting, front-row starter Lopez slotted in dutifully behind the reigning WTCC champion at Turn 1.
The Argentine maintained a respectful distance to Muller throughout the 14-lap race, finishing 1.2s behind the #1 car at the chequered flag.
Citroen had locked out the top-three positions in qualifying, but hopes of a repeat of its Marrakech season-opening stranglehold of the podium evaporated away from the lights.
World Rally Championship legend Sebastien Loeb lost out to a fast-starting Tiago Monteiro away from the line. A late-braking attempt to recover the position resulted in the nine-time WRC champion sliding wide on the outside of the first corner.
Loeb dropped behind Monteiro's factory Honda team-mate Gabriele Tarquini and customer Civic WTCC competitors Mehdi Bennani and Norbert Michelisz through Turns 2 and 3.
Thereafter, Loeb was unable, or unwilling given the tight turn-around time for race two, to risk a passing manoeuvre.
In a processional race at the front of the field, the top-eight order at the conclusion of lap one remained unchanged to the finish.
Monteiro was unable to match the pace of the Citroen duo at the head of the pack, but the Portuguese former grand prix driver finished a comfortable four seconds clear of Tarquini.
Having qualified fastest Chevrolet runner in seventh, ROAL Motorsport's Tom Chilton received a black and orange flag owing to a loose bonnet. After receiving attention in the pits, the Briton would recover to 14th.
Results - 14 laps Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Yvan Muller Citroen 25m57.292s 2. Jose Maria Lopez Citroen +1.282s 3. Tiago Monteiro Honda +8.961s 4. Gabriele Tarquini Honda +13.980s 5. Mehdi Bennani Proteam Honda +14.747s 6. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda +16.672s 7. Sebastien Loeb Citroen +17.475s 8. Tom Coronel ROAL Chevrolet +22.863s 9. Gianni Morbidelli Munnich Chevrolet +27.891s 10. Hugo Valente Campos Chevrolet +36.287s 11. Rob Huff Lada +42.968s 12. Dusan Borkovic Campos Chevrolet +43.715s 13. James Thompson Lada +48.481s 14. Tom Chilton ROAL Chevrolet +55.861s 15. Pasquale di Sabatino Engstler BMW +1m23.040s* 16. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW +1m23.757s* 17. John Filippi Campos SEAT +1m48.371s* 18. Yukinori Taniguchi Nika Honda +1m48.877s* 19. Rene Munnich Munnich Chevrolet +1 lap Retirements/not classified Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada 4 laps * TC2