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Hungaroring WTCR: Gabriele Tarquini wins, Esteban Guerrier crashes

Reigning World Touring Car Cup champion Gabriele Tarquini beat Hyundai team-mate Norbert Michelisz to victory in the final race of the Hungaroring weekend, as erstwhile points leader Esteban Guerrieri crashed

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, who lost out to Tarquini in the final race of the 2018 Hungaroring event after a slow start, again made a poor getaway from pole and slipped to third behind the Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R of Guerrieri and BRC Racing stablemate Tarquini.

Guerrieri had shared the lead of the drivers' standings with team-mate Nestor Girolami before the start of the race.

He appeared to have the race under control in the early laps as he kept the Hyundais at bay.

But the Honda seemed 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.

Things later went from bad to worse for Guerrieri, who went head on into the barrier on the outside of the final corner on lap 12 of the originally planned 15 - 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 team-mate on the restart with three laps of the extended 17-lap distance to go.

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

The victory was Tarquini's seventh since the start of the WTCR era in 2019.

Guerrieri's late drama allowed Yann Ehrlacher to complete the podium in his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03.

Third-place starter Ehrlacher made a good getaway but lost out to Tarquini by virtue of 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 Swedish Cupra squad PWR Racing, while Thed Bjork - Cyan's lead representative in the drivers' standings - was fifth.

Girolami moved into an outright 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 Golf GTI and claiming seventh.

The Lukoil-backed BRC Racing Hyundais of Augusto Farfus and Nicky Catsburg were eighth and ninth ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay (WRT Audi RS3 LMS) and Comtoyou drivers Aurelien Panis, Frederic Vervisch and Tom Coronel.

Hungarian teenager Attila Tassi (KCMG Honda) and Huff's SLR team-mate Mehdi Bennani completed the points.

Aside from Guerrieri and Ceccon, Yvan Muller was the only other retiree.

The four-time World Touring Car champion had been given a drivethrough penalty for making contact with Cyan team-mate Andy Priaulx on the opening lap and, having dropped to last, returned to the garage after completing nine laps.

Race three result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 17 34m52.476s
2 Norbert Michelisz BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 17 0.739s
3 Yann Ehrlacher Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 17 1.535s
4 Mikel Azcona PWR Racing Cupra 17 1.785s
5 Thed Bjork Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 17 2.112s
6 Nestor Girolami Munnich Motorsport Honda 17 2.862s
7 Rob Huff SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen 17 3.051s
8 Augusto Farfus BRC Racing Team Hyundai 17 3.721s
9 Nicky Catsburg BRC Racing Team Hyundai 17 5.770s
10 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi 17 6.582s
11 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Cupra Cupra 17 6.892s
12 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Audi Audi 17 7.351s
13 Tom Coronel Comtoyou Cupra Cupra 17 8.656s
14 Attila Tassi KCMG Honda 17 10.748s
15 Mehdi Bennani SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen 17 12.549s
16 Tiago Monteiro KCMG Honda 17 14.107s
17 Benjamin Leuchter SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen 17 14.662s
18 Niels Langeveld Comtoyou Audi Audi 17 14.862s
19 Ma Qinghua Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 17 18.418s
20 Andy Priaulx Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 17 18.932s
21 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi 17 19.836s
22 Johan Kristoffersson SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen 17 20.175s
23 Tamas Tenke Zengo Motorsport Cupra 17 21.292s
24 Daniel Haglof PWR Racing Cupra 17 21.547s
- Kevin Ceccon Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 14 Retirement
- Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda 10 Retirement
- Yvan Muller Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 9 Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Nestor Girolami 100
2 Esteban Guerrieri 90
3 Thed Bjork 81
4 Gabriele Tarquini 79
5 Jean-Karl Vernay 68
6 Mikel Azcona 55
7 Yvan Muller 51
8 Norbert Michelisz 48
9 Frederic Vervisch 47
10 Yann Ehrlacher 44
11 Augusto Farfus 30
12 Daniel Haglof 27
13 Rob Huff 25
14 Andy Priaulx 22
15 Aurelien Panis 21
16 Tiago Monteiro 20
17 Nicky Catsburg 19
18 Attila Tassi 16
19 Gordon Shedden 12
20 Ma Qinghua 12
21 Tom Coronel 9
22 Johan Kristoffersson 8
23 Kevin Ceccon 7
24 Mehdi Bennani 5
25 Benjamin Leuchter 4

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