WTCC Hongrie: JAS Hondas keep on winning

© DR

JAS Motorsport Hondas celebrated a weekend of unprecedented success in touring car racing in Europe with a series of excellent results last weekend.

Wins in the FIA World Touring Car Championship and European Touring Car Cup plus a one-two finish in the TCR International Series capped off superb weekend for the Italian organisation, whose cars now lead six major series.

 

Having already claimed MAC3 victory on Saturday, the JAS-run Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team employed a perfect strategy at the Hungaroring as Tiago Monteiro started second in the Opening Race and became the first repeat winner of the season.

The Portuguese driver’s result increased his Drivers’ Championship lead to 38 points and kept up Honda’s record of finishing on the podium at every round in 2017, despite the Civics carrying the maximum 80kg of compensation weight.

Team-mate Norbert Michelisz finished fourth in the Main Race at his home event while Ryo Michigami claimed a double finish and Zengo Motorsport driver Aurelien Panis again scored points with 10th in the Opening Race.

Hungary was also the post of the second ETCC round of the year and was the scene of more domination for Honda team Rikli Motorsport, who took a dominant double win with their pair of Civic Type R TCRs.

Christjohannes Schreiber took the top step of the podium in each of Sunday’s races; team-mate Peter Rikli adding fifth in Race One and sadly crashing out of the lead on the final lap of Race Two.

Schreiber leads the championship by 15 points while Rikli, third overall, is aiming to bounce back at the next round, which supports the WTCC at the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

JAS’s local circuit, Monza, played host to TCR International, in which the Hungarian M1RA squad an exceptional one-two finish and moved into the lead of the Teams’ Championship.

Roberto Colciago won for the second time in 2017 and claimed the runner-up spot in Race Two to climb to second in the Drivers’ Championship. Tassi, who collected a third podium finish of the season in Race One, lies fourth overall.

A third Civic, fielded by Reno Racing for Jens Moller, only just missed out on the Danish driver’s first points of the season with two battling performances.

Alessandro Mariani, Castrol Honda WTCC Team Principal, said: “I’m very pleased with the results of the Hungarian WTCC event for Tiago. He’s increased his championship lead on a weekend that hasn’t been easy, and on which we’ve had to work hard to maximise our opportunities after a tough qualifying session. To do this with a win is very good and for Ryo to finish both races is also positive. Norbi had some very bad luck in the Opening Race, but he delivered a strong performance with fourth in the Main Races, which is the best we were able to achieve while carrying maximum compensation weight. His luck will change soon, I’m sure.”

Mads Fischer, JAS Motorsport TCR Project Leader, said: “To win races in three of the biggest front-wheel-drive touring car championships in the world is a very big achievement; to do it on the same weekend is incredible. Rikli Motorsport are doing a fantastic job with the Civic TCR as they look to win the ETCC for a second year in a row, while M1RA have managed to score a one-two finish and take the championship lead in what’s only the team’s third-ever race event. This is something that we must give them huge congratulations for. Roberto is very experienced and Attila’s speed is sensational, so I’m looking forward to seeing their progress as the season goes on.”

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