WTCR Race of Hungary event preview

WTCR Race of Hungary event preview

18.08.2021: The WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup’s ’s summer break might be over, but the temperatures continue to rise in the full-action series, with a red hot Hungaroring all set to host WTCR Race of Hungary from August 20-22.


The WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup’s ’s summer break might be over, but the temperatures continue to rise in the full-action series, with a red hot Hungaroring all set to host WTCR Race of Hungary from August 20-22.




Marking the halfway point of what is a typically super-tight title fight, WTCR Race of Hungary has been ever-present on the calendar since the series began in 2018. However, the local fans, who are expected to return to the grandstands in their thousands after missing out last season due to COVID-19 restrictions, have yet to celebrate a home winner.

While Bence Boldizs is still in the infancy of what promises to be an extremely successful World Touring Car career in the future, fellow Hungarians Norbert Michelisz and Attila Tassi are WTCR race winners, with Michelisz, notably, the 2019 King of WTCR. Although both would relish a Hungaroring victory,neither is getting carried away by such a prospect.



Tassi, from the Germany-based ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport squad, points to the hefty compensation weight his Goodyear-equipped Honda Civic Type R TCR will carry in line with the WTCR’s sporting rules. Michelisz, meanwhile, is adamant that he won’t risk dropping vital points in an all-out pursuit of a first WTCR win in two seasons.



The BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse driver has reasoned that there are still eight races remaining following the Hungary weekend, making a significant haul of points from his home track vital for his title ambitions aboard his Hyundai Elantra N TCR.

 


“It would be very special to score my first race win of the season in front of the Hungarian fans and of course I will do my very, very best to achieve that,” said Michelisz, 37. “But my main target is always to exploit the maximum I can from my possibilities. But the season is still long. So even though things were not always coming my way in the first three events, consistency will be key in the following races. Although I would like to win in Hungary, if winning means to take too much risk I am not sure I will do that because my focus is still on the overall classification and to score as many points as possible in both races.”



After six rounds, Michelisz is P14 in the standings, 42 points behind Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Jean-Karl Vernay (Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team). However, with a maximum of 60 points up for grabs at each event, the Hungarian hero remains firmly in the fight for a second WTCR title as do a host of rivals with the top 10 currently covered by 31 points.



Yann Ehrlacher, the reigning King of WTCR, is a mere eight points adrift of Vernay for Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, with his uncle and team-mate Yvan Muller a further seven points back. Santiago Urrutia (Cyan Performance Lynk & Co), Gabriele Tarquini (BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse), Tassi, last season’s Hungaroring double winner Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport) and Tassi’s team-mate Tiago Monteiro are also well placed, as are Thed Björk (Cyan Performance Lynk & Co), Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), round six winner Frédéric Vervisch and his fellow Comtoyou Team Audi Sport driver Gilles Magnus, who tops the FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title and WTCR Trophy standings.



And with the six races run so far in 2021 producing six different winners, the chase for on-track success is wide-open heading to WTCR Race of Hungary when ambient temperatures of 30 degrees centigrade are being forecast.



Michelisz is among 23 top touring car aces tackling the two races on the 4.381-kilometre Hungaroring, rounds seven and eight of the 16-event WTCR season. The line-up includes category experts and young talents − plus wildcard racer Nicola Baldan − who will all be reaching speeds of 260kph in turbocharged TCR cars from Audi, CUPRA, Honda, Hyundai and Lynk & Co.



As well as savouring the two races that make up Hungary’s rounds of the WTCR, fans will be treated to the unique spectacle that is PURE ETCR, the all-new, all-electric touring car series from Eurosport Events, the same promoter behind WTCR. Hyundai driver Vernay and his CUPRA-powered rivals Mikel Azcona and Jordi Gené will be on double duty by competing in WTCR and PURE ETCR over the course of the Hungaroring weekend.




WHAT HAPPENED AT WTCR RACE OF SPAIN?





*Tarquini and Vervisch are back on form with their first WTCR victories since 2019

*Vervisch scores maiden success for second-generation Audi run by Comtoyou Racing

*He finishes the weekend as the TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver

*Tarquini’s triumph in Race 1 is a second win for the all-new Hyundai Elantra N TCR

*In winning from the partially-reversed grid, Tarquini picks up the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy

*CUPRA-powered home hero Azcona places second in Race 1 ahead of Tom Coronel

*Thed Björk chases Vervisch home as the Race 2 runner-up for Cyan Performance Lynk & Co

*Coronel and Magnus share WTCR Trophy victories, Magnus is twice on top in FIA WTCR Junior

*Vernay keeps his blue jacket as the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader

*Ambient temperatures exceed 30 degrees at MotorLand Aragón




WTCR 2021 OVERVIEW



Representing 11 top teams and 12 countries, the 2021 WTCR line-up features six FIA world title winners − including current King of WTCR Yann Ehrlacher − plus nine drivers 25 or under. A total of 69 race wins are shared between the 22-strong talent-packed all-season entry.



All drivers count on sustainable biofuel from P1 Racing Fuels and tyres from Goodyear. Along with a Balance of Performance and a compensation weight formula, which was applied for the first time during the WTCR Race of Spain weekend, their use helps to create a level playing field. Meanwhile, significant cost-control measures help maintain strong grid numbers and allow privateer teams with limited technical support from manufacturers to fight at the front.



The 2021 season is set to comprise eight weekends with practice, qualifying and two races timetabled at each event. All events enjoy extensive live global broadcasting.



As well as the FIA Drivers’ and Teams’ titles, the FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title is for the best racer 24 or under at the start of 2021 with no WTCC/WTCR experience prior to 2019. Independent racers competing without direct manufacturer funding are eligible for the WTCR Trophy, while the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy and TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver accolade are awarded at each event.



The Goodyear #FollowTheLeader recognises the driver at the head of the title standings after each qualifying session or race. They are presented with the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader blue jacket and carry the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader yellow windscreen strip on their car until such time that they no longer top the points classification. Jean-Karl Vernay starts WTCR Race of Hungary as the Goodyear #FollowTheLeader, albeit by a slender eight-point margin over Yann Ehrlacher.




WHAT’S NEW FOR 2021?



*There will be double-headers only in 2021 with two rather than three races at each event


*New cars from Audi (second-generation Audi RS 3 LMS) and Hyundai (Elantra N TCR) join the grid


*P1 Racing Fuels is WTCR’s Official Fuel Supplier with drivers powered by a bespoke fuel featuring 15 per cent renewable components

 

 

*Jessica Bäckman is the WTCR’s first female driver and joins brother Andreas to form the WTCR’s first all-sibling team run by new all-season entrant Target Competition


*Like the Bäckmans, Jordi Gené is a WTCR newcomer, while Rob Huff and Frédéric Vervisch return after missing out in 2020


*Adria and Estoril are among the new venues for 2021, while Italy is one of a handful of countries hosting the WTCR for the first time


*The Rookie driver award is redefined and renamed as the FIA Junior Driver Title


*WTCR promoter Eurosport Events has been issued with the FIA’s Three Star Environmental Accreditation following a rigorous auditing process in line with the motorsport world governing body’s Environmental Certification Framework.




DID YOU KNOW?


*The coveted #1 will not be carried in 2021 with King of WTCR Yann Ehrlacher electing to stick with #68, the number he used to win last year’s title and the number of Haut-Rhin, the French department where he’s from.


*Esteban Guerrieri is the WTCR’s most successful driver in terms of race wins with the Honda-powered driver triumphing 10 times for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport.


*The Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition as the Official Safety Car of the WTCR for a second season. Pedro Couceiro from Portugal is the Official Safety Car Driver at WTCR Race of Hungary.






 Richard Rodgers, photos WTCR

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/wtcr-race-hungary-event-preview---227875.html

18.08.2021 / MaP

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