WTCR Hungaroring: Azcona claims WTCR points lead after Hungary win

Mikel Azcona stormed from pole position to win at the Hungaroring and surge into the lead of the World Touring Car Cup standings.

WTCR Hungaroring: Azcona claims WTCR points lead after Hungary win

The Spaniard claimed his second victory in three races for his new team, BRC Squadra Corse, after making a strong start to race one in his Hyundai Elantra N TCR. The victory means he has demoted Munnich Motorsport’s Nestor Girlolami from the top of the standings.

“Really pleased, very happy, a very comfortable race,” said Azcona. “There was no pressure from behind. The first lap is always the most tricky part of the race. The first few corners I felt the pressure and tried to defend. I have to say the car was working very good, the tyre degradation was amazing.”

Reigning double champion Yann Ehrlacher started third behind the Comtoyou Audi of Nathanael Berthon, but pounced on a small mistake on the penultimate lap to snatch second place.

“It was really tough, it was really hot in the car,” said Ehrlacher. “The start was tough because I was not on the inside. We gave it a good go, but I lacked a bit of speed.

“But actually I saw I could save my tyres not running too close behind Nat because I would have destroyed them. Then the last three laps I saw as my chance. I felt some vibration in my tyres so I was careful as well. But I went for it.”

Girolami finished where he started in seventh, behind Gilles Magnus’s Audi, Ma Qing Hua’s Lynk & Co and Rob Huff’s Zengo Motorsport Cupra. The Briton pulled two strong moves on Girolami and the other Munnich Motorsport Honda of Esteban Guerrieri to rise from eighth on the grid to finish sixth.

Santi Urrutia won the partially reversed-grid race two from pole, but had to fight off a big challenge from fellow front-row starter Huff to do so.

A safety car intervention broke up the battle as Mehdi Bennani’s Audi was left with a broken front-left wheel after contact with Yvan Muller’s Lynk & Co. At the restart, Urrutia made a strong getaway, but couldn’t shake off Huff who chased him all the way to the flag.

Santiago Urrutia, Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR

Santiago Urrutia, Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR

Photo by: WTCR

“That was hard, it was very warm in the car,” said a delighted Urrutia. “I had no rest time in the race. Rob was pushing and I could not make a single mistake. I think I won the race on the restart. If I made a gap he could never get it back. But he was still there pushing. What a race. Thanks to Rob for the clean race.”

“Congratulations to Santi," said Huff. "I threw everything I had at him, including a slightly quicker car. But he just didn’t give me any space, there was no room and nothing to try. After last year’s disaster [when he crashed in Race 1 and was unable to take up his Race 2 pole position] I wanted to make sure we got something solid this year and a podium here at the team’s home race is absolutely mega. We’ve raised the bar every single time. I thoroughly enjoyed the race.”

Girolami completed the podium and, with Azcona finishing ninth from 10th on the grid, was pleased to reduce the gap to the new WTCR title leader to just nine points.

“Amazing job from the team over the weekend changing the set-up,” said Girolami.

“In the first race I was struggling a lot, then we decided to take another direction in race two and it was quite good. I was surprised at the pace considering we are the heaviest here with 40kg.

“I am super-happy and it’s a really good moment because we are fighting for the championship. I feel super-ready to go for it.”

Results: Race 1

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Spain Mikel Azcona 17 32'38.095  
2 France Yann Ehrlacher 17 32'39.990 1.895
3 France Nathanael Berthon 17 32'41.426 3.331
4 Belgium Gilles Magnus 17 32'42.924 4.829
5 China Ma Qing Hua 17 32'43.354 5.259
6 United Kingdom Rob Huff 17 32'44.171 6.076
7 Argentina Nestor Girolami 17 32'49.578 11.483
8 Uruguay Santiago Urrutia 17 32'50.193 12.098
9 Argentina Esteban Guerrieri 17 32'53.204 15.109
10 France Yvan Muller 17 32'54.069 15.974
11 Sweden Thed Björk 17 32'54.789 16.694
12 Hungary Norbert Michelisz 17 32'55.572 17.477
13 Morocco Mehdi Bennani 17 33'00.307 22.212
14 Hungary Attila Tassi 17 33'08.378 30.283
15 Netherlands Tom Coronel 17 33'11.616 33.521
16 Portugal Tiago Monteiro 17 33'15.213 37.118
17 Hungary Daniel Nagy 17 33'15.624 37.529

Results: Race 2

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Uruguay Santiago Urrutia 14 -  
2 United Kingdom Rob Huff 14 0.380 0.380
3 Argentina Nestor Girolami 14 2.428 2.428
4 Hungary Norbert Michelisz 14 3.173 3.173
5 China Ma Qing Hua 14 5.880 5.880
6 France Yann Ehrlacher 14 6.518 6.518
7 Belgium Gilles Magnus 14 8.649 8.649
8 France Nathanael Berthon 14 9.486 9.486
9 Spain Mikel Azcona 14 9.930 9.930
10 France Yvan Muller 14 10.250 10.250
11 Argentina Esteban Guerrieri 14 12.872 12.872
12 Sweden Thed Björk 14 14.248 14.248
13 Netherlands Tom Coronel 14 17.613 17.613
14 Hungary Attila Tassi 14 18.550 18.550
15 Portugal Tiago Monteiro 14 20.555 20.555
  Hungary Daniel Nagy 9 5 laps  
  Morocco Mehdi Bennani 6 8 laps  
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WTCR Hungaroring: Azcona claims first pole of 2022 for Hyundai
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