WTCC Hungary: Mehdi Bennani wins wet race one

Mehdi Bennani took the second victory of his World Touring Car Championship career at the Hungaroring in challenging conditions, as Tom Chilton completed a 1-2 for Sebastien Loeb Racing

WTCC Hungary: Mehdi Bennani wins wet race one

Bennani led from the reversed-grid pole and left all trouble behind him as he eased to victory, well clear of Chilton in the second SLR Citroen C-Elysee, the Briton having advanced from 10th.

Starting on full wets, Bennani got off the line well enough to head the field into Turn 1, with Yvan Muller - who along with factory Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez had started on full slicks - advancing to second at the first corner ahead of Fredrik Ekblom.

But that was as good as things got for Muller, who went wide at Turn 2 and along with Lopez slipped to the rear of the field, the pair both eventually pitting for wet tyres and finishing the race a lap down outside of the points.

Instead, Ekblom was promoted to second in his Volvo S60 Polestar, but he was gradually reeled in by Lada's Nicky Catsburg who forced his way up the inside at the final corner, snatching the position on the run to Turn 1.

Chilton, having made his way into sixth on the opening lap, forced his way past Muller and Huff to take fourth and continued to charge, catching Catsburg and Ekblom as the Lada man made his move for second.

The Briton had to bide his time to pass Ekblom, but his patience paid off as he completed a fine move up the inside at Turn 11 to grab third.

Chilton's charge came too late to challenge Bennani, but he did take

second on the penultimate lap by passing Catsburg, eventually finishing 3.313 seconds down on his team-mate.

Catsburg completed the podium, while Ekblom, following Thed Bjork's exclusion from the second race at the Slovakia Ring a week earlier, provisionally took Volvo and Polestar's best result since returning to the WTCC.

Gabriele Tarquini's decision to pit at the end of the formation laps for front wet tyres paid dividends as he advanced to fifth with a number of overtakes, and finished well clear of team-mate Hugo Valente.

Gregoire Demoustier kept his nose clean in the third SLR Citroen C-Elysee to claim seventh, ahead of John Filippi - who served a drive-through penalty - and Hungarian rookie Ferenc Ficza, who scored his first WTCC points in ninth.

Rob Huff, on slick front tyres and wet rears, looked as though he would pick up the final point when Rene Munnich was handed a drive-through penalty with four laps to go.

But the German caught and passed Huff as the pair started their final lap to secure his first point of the season, leaving the factory Honda outfit without a point in the first race.

Huff was well clear of Tiago Monteiro in 12th, while home favourite Norbert Michelisz failed to make the start after pulling off on the first of two formation laps.

RACE RESULT

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 14 30m49.813s
2 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 14 3.313s
3 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 14 6.367s
4 Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 14 13.918s
5 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 14 14.566s
6 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 14 29.575s
7 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 14 34.530s
8 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 14 47.418s
9 Rene Munnich Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 14 1m48.021s
10 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 14 1m58.809s
11 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 14 2m26.774s
12 Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen 13 1 Lap
13 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Racing Citroen 13 1 Lap
14 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 13 1 Lap
15 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 13 1 Lap
- Ferenc Ficza Zengo Motorsport Honda 14 Disqualified
- Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 0 Not started


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