On the 4.3 km Hungaroring circuit, the Frenchman produces great performance by closing in 8th overall; Gordon Shedden, starting from 13th row, finishes 18th with several overtakes despite brake issues. The Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team confirms as the best Audi team on the grid, while Ehrlacher scores the Saturday victory.
WTCR – Race of Hungary took its bow at a bright and sunny Hungaroring this morning. Local hero Norbert Michelisz made a perfect weekend start on home soil by topping the FP1 session and by securing the Pole Position for Race1.
Marrakech Race 2 winner Jean-Karl Vernay was the best of the Audi contingent, in 11th: the Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team driver took his RS 3 LMS in a time of 1’53.900; while his teammate, triple British Touring Car champion, Gordon Shedden had to start from 25th position on his first visit to the Hungaroring.
Race 1 of WTCR Race of Hungary took place at 15:25 local time. After soaring from fifth on the grid to the lead in just two corners, Yann Ehrlacher scored the Saturday victory: the Frenchman made a great start, but it was a squabble between the drivers ahead at Turn 2 that gave him an opportunistic lead he would not lose.
In that begging chaos the Thed Bjork’s Hyundai dropped from third on the grid to 8th place, right in front of Jean-Karl Vernay’s Audi RS 3 LMS. On lap 4, the former TCR Champ put his rival in his sight and overtook the Swedish with a superb maneuver.
On a track recognized as one of the most difficult to overtake Gordon Shedden fought his way through the field to overtake his rivals starting from behind on the grid. The Scottish, despite brake issues, managed to fill the gap improving lap by lap from 25th till final 18th to the flag.
Tomorrow, April 29th, action will start with the Second Qualifying split into 3 sessions, the last one will allocate 5 points for the Shootout award. Race 2 (12 Laps) and Race 3 (15 Laps) will take place at 15:30 and 16:55 local time respectively.
#69 Jean-Karl VERNAY:
“Today was tricky I would say. It wasn't the greatest track for our car but we did well to qualify in P11 and then finish the race in P8, but scoring the points. Not too bad especially when we compare ourselves to the other Audi cars. I'm pretty happy with my own performance but I hope the championship will change the BOP.”
#52 Gordon SHEDDEN:
“I finished Day 1 at Hungary quite well but there are still a few little things we are trying to improve for tomorrow. But we are always looking forward with positivity and I think we can make a good step overnight and we will come out ready for both races tomorrow.”
WTCR 2018 Race of Hungary (GMT +2)
Length: 4.381 m
Free Practice 1 : p 15 - J.K. Vernal / p 26 - G. Shedden
Free Practice 2 : p 24 - G. Shedden / p 26 - J.K. Vernal
First Qualifying :
1 - Michelisz / HUN / BRC Racing / Hyundai i30 N / 1’52.644
2 - Guerreri / ARG / All-Inkl.com / Honda Civic / 1’52.900
3 - Bjork / SWE / MRacing YMR / Hyundai i30 N / 1’53.063
11 - Vernay / FRA / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / 1’53.900
25 - Shedden / GBR / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / 1’55.323
Race 1 :
1 - Y. Ehrlacher / FRA / All-Inkl.com / Honda Civic / 12 Laps
2 - E. Guerreri / ARG / All-Inkl.com / Honda Civic / +0.692
3 - N. Michelisz / HUN / BRC Racing / Hyundai i30 N / +5.942
8 - Vernay / FRA / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / +15.403
18 - Shedden / GBR / Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / RS 3 LMS / +33.978
Drivers’ World Standing :
1 - G. Tarquini / 72 points
2 - Y. Ehrlancher / 64 p
3 - T. Bjork / 55 p.
4 - J.K. Vernay / 47 p.
11 - G. Shedden / 12 p.
Teams’ World Standing :
1 - BRC Racing / 113 points
2 - All-Inkl.com / 100 p.
3 - MRacing YMR / 100 p.
4 - Sebastien Loeb Racing / 70 p.
5 - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil / 62 p.
Sunday, April 29th:
10:00-10:20 – Second Qualifying Q1
10:25-10:35 – Second Qualifying Q2
10:40-10:50 – Second Qualifying Q3 (top-five shootout, points as 5-4-3-2-1)
15:30 – Race 2 (top 10 positions after Second Qualifying reversed)
16:55 – Race 3 (grid as per combined order after Q3)
Photo credit: DPPI