5 reasons to not miss the Race of Hungary

This weekend, the Hungaroring, a circuit to the north of Budapest, will welcome the second round of the WTCR Oscaro 2018. After a first stop in Marocco that held all its promises, here are the reasons to absolutely not miss the Race of Hungary.

1. First of the Wildcards

Absent from the first round in Marrakech, the wildcards will make their first appearance at the Hungaroring. They will be attributed to local young rising stars in touring cars, Daniel Nagy and Attila Tassi. At 20 years old, the first one is not unknown in the touring car world, having competed two full seasons in the WTCC. Competing this season in TCR Europe, Nagy is happy to compete against the best: “I am extremely motivated by this opportunity in WTCR Oscaro, especially in front of a home crowd.”. The second, is none other than the vice-champion of the 2017 TCR International Series. At only 18 years old, Tassi doesn’t hide his ambitions, he is here to disrupt the party: “I’m not going there to make up the numbers and will instead push for the absolute best result I can possibly achieve.”

2. Hungarian fervour

If the mercury forecasts 27 degrees celsius in Budapest on Saturday, the atmosphere promises to be boiling hot. This year, five hungarian drivers will line up on the grid for the three races. Amongst them, national hero Norbert Michelisz, considered by Forbes as the second most influential sportsperson in Hungary, just behind the swimmer Katinka Hosszù. At the wheel of his Hyundai i30 N TCR, he will attempt, as in 2015, to win one of the three races of the week-end in front of an electric crowd.

3. The Michelisz – Muller duel

When the enemy attacks the king, the people defends him. On November 25th 2016, at the last WTCC round of the season in Qatar, Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz competes for third place. Certain to finish 2nd in the championship at the end of the season, Yvan Muller lets Monteiro pass, giving him the final podium spot in the championship. Since then, Muller is public enemy number 1 for the fans of “Norbi”. Some of them went as far as sending death threats to the four-times french world champion after the event. “They are so passionate for Norbert, the atmosphere is fantastic with the air horns and this is what I like. But some fans are a little too fanatical. They should push to a certain level but not push it too hard.”, explains the Swedish world champion and Yvan Muller’s teammate Thed Björk, on the atmosphere reigning around the Race of Hungary. And the clash in Race 3 in Marrakech between the two drivers only added to the tension. The fight will be huge.

4. The circuit

With the presence of the wildcards, twenty-seven drivers line up on the starting grid this Saturday. A championship record, since last year, only sixteen drivers competed at the Hungaroring. In it’s new format, the WTCR Oscaro will make its debuts on a “real” circuit. The first round having taken place on the Moulay Al Hassan street circuit of Marrakech, known to not be favouring overtakes and show. While narrow (The Hungaroring never goes over 15m wide), this historical circuit is a lot quicker than Marrakech. Nicknamed the “turnstile”, it promises action and fighting that we haven’t seen yet this season in the 2018 WTCR Oscaro.

5. Confirmation for Gabriele Tarquini?

If local racer Michelisz went through a rather complicated weekend in Marocco, his teammate, surpassed expectations. After retiring from racing for a year to develop the Hyundai i30 N TCR, Gabriele Tarquini surprised everyone by winning two out of the first three races in 2018. At 56 years old, the Italian driver is already at 62 points, almost half of what he had at the end of his last WTCC season (147 points in 2016). So, will he manag to keep his first place, and win at the Hungaroring? The answer on April 28th and 29th.

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