Jose Maria Lopez has moved clear in the World Touring Car Championship standings with a tenacious lights-to-flag victory in the second race of the weekend at the Hungaroring.

Looking to bounce back from a dismal first race - which saw him finish outside the top ten after an incorrect call to go on slick tyres in wet conditions -, Lopez nonetheless had the chance to make amends from pole in race two and made no mistake on a similarly slippery surface despite heavy pressure from Yvan Muller and Rob Huff.

Indeed, with his main title rivals also failing to score for the same reason in race one, Lopez was able to show his mettle in the wet on the right rubber from pole, heading up Huff and a fast-starting Muller - up from seventh on the grid - through the opening turns.

With Muller past Huff on lap three when the Honda driver ran wide at turn five just before a safety car was called to clear the heavily damaged C-Elysee of Gregoire Dermoustier which had crashed at turn one, the Frenchman set about attempting to wrest the lead off his Citroen team-mate.

Despite Muller looking faster, Lopez was robust in his defence, allowing Huff to close up again to challenge the top two. However, the Briton's attempt to pass Muller on lap ten would see him push on the Citroen into turn two, forcing his rival wide and allowing the Civic to nip through.

However, just as it looked as though Huff had the measure to launch an attack on an unusually cautious Lopez, stewards deemed his pass on Muller to be unfair and handed him a drive-thru penalty.

With Huff dropping out of contention and Muller having already lost touch in the scuffle, Lopez was able to complete another valuable win - already his 24th across little more than two seasons.

Despite its horrendous first race in a factory capacity, with Mehdi Bennani and Tom Chilton finishing 1-2 in race one with their privateer C-Elysees and Muller following Lopez home in the second race, Citroen actually goes away having amassed a perfect haul of points for its manufacturers' tally.

With Huff down the order, team-mate Tiago Monteiro inherited third to keep the pressure on Lopez in the standings - the pair split by 12 points -, while Thed Bjork completed another strong result for Volvo in fourth, despite a collision with Gabriele Tarquini that forced the LADA driver into retirement.

Making another charge up the order from 12th on the grid, Chilton completed his best weekend of the year with fifth, doing so at the behest of a brave but luckless Norbert Michelisz. The home hero started last after his Honda Civic suffered an engine blow in race one and made stunning progress all the way sixth, only for his rear suspension to collapse on the final lap.

Crawling to the finish line, Michelisz salvaged tenth for a point, couldn't stop a recovering Huff, Tom Coronel, race one winner Mehdi Bennani - who like Huff served a drive-thru penalty for nudging Monteiro out of the way on lap one -, and Hugo Valente ahead of him.



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