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WTCC Hungary 2013: Huff clinches first SEAT victory
5 May 2013
Reigning champion Rob Huff has taken his first World Touring Car Championship win for SEAT in race two in Hungary.
After a serious crash involving Gabriele Tarquini and Franz Engstler on the opening lap, bringing out the safety car for four laps, Huff put in a brilliant pass round the outside of Mehdi Bennani at the re-start to take the lead, which he kept to the finish line.
Huffy's success gives Munnich Motorsports its first ever WTCC win, the outfit having switch to tin-tops this season after formerly running in the now defunct FIA GT1 Championship.
Bennani meanwhile, who started on the front row - taking advantage of the reverse grid system in yesterday's qualifying session - took the runners-up spot. It was his and ProTeam BMW's personal best in the championship and he kept Huff honest throughout the race. The Moroccan also finished as top independent, taking both wins in the class today - his best weekend to date.
Alex MacDowall couldn't keep up with the pace at the front but settled for third ahead of Bamboo Engineering team-mate, James Nash, who in-turn held off race one victor - and championship leader - Yvan Muller.
Tom Coronel had a fight on his hands to finish in sixth, holding off the attention of seventh place Tom Chilton as well as race one podium man, Norbert Michelisz, who dropped back to eighth.
Michel Nykjaer battled with Darryl O'Young to take ninth, the latter gaining the final points paying position of the day with P10.
Behind, Stefano D'Aste and LADA's James Thompson missed out on points in eleventh and twelfth but finished ahead of Tiago Montiero in 13th. Montiero had a good run through the field after starting last from the pit lane.
Of the rest, Charles Ng had a quiet race to finish 14th ahead of a SEAT quintet in positions 15 through to 19, with Tom Boardman finally having some more luck and seeing the finish from Pepe Oriola, Marc Basseng and the Campos SUNRED pairing of Fernando Monje and Hugo Valente.
Mikhail Kozlovskiy and Rene Munnich brought up the rear of the field while Freddy Barth was the last classified runner.
There were two retirements, namely Tarquini and Engstler, who as mentioned, had a big collision on the opening lap in turn two. As the pack concertinaed together to filter through the tricky twisty section, Tarquini clipped an innocent Muller, which pitched the Castrol JAS Honda Civic into the barrier drivers side, deflecting the car into a Engstler's path.
Tarquini left the scene of the accident with medics, walking but with a precautionary neck brace to be taken away for tests at the track's medical centre.by Dexter Fielding