Jose Maria Lopez is feeling positive about the defence of his World Touring Car Championship title after opening up 33-point lead on his nearest challenger Sebastien Loeb.

The reigning WTCC champion claimed a dominant race one victory the Hungaroring, shooting up from the second row of the grid to pass Hugo Valente and Yvan Muller for the lead on the opening lap. The Argentine's 14th career WTCC win never looked in doubt as he claimed the chequered flag ahead of a frustrated Muller.

"I think my start to race 1 was the best I've ever made in the WTCC," Lopez remarked. "I'm really happy with this win, particularly after qualifying, which didn't go brilliantly."

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In race two at the Budapest circuit the Citroen C-Elysee WTCC driver battled through the field on the reversed grid start to claim sixth place, despite carrying maximum ballast in the car. Loeb was only able to notch up sixth and fifth place finishes respectively in Hungary which has enabled Lopez to strengthen his WTCC championship credentials.

"Points-wise, this meeting has allowed me to extend my lead over Seb slightly, so it's all positive," he added.

The WTCC paddock now heads to the Nurburgring for round four, scheduled for the 16-17 May.