Engineering Manager | Trail Runner | Stockholm, Sweden

WTCC / Trofeo GT MC

As a very nice birthday surprise I got a paddock pass from a friend to the Sunday WTCC race at Hungaroring. This was the first time ever the touring car championship came to Hungary.


When we arrived the first Trofeo Maserati race was going on, resulting in the victory of the local driver Norbert Kiss.

Norbert Kiss (HUN)

There was also a race for AutoGP cars, which proved to be way too fast to photograph and also incredibly loud. Not being familiar with the series I had to look it up: AutoGP is the successor of the Euroseries 3000 or Euro Formula 3000, using engines roughly the same power as GP2, formerly Formula 3000. TL;DR: it’s one size smaller than F1.

The big attractions were of course the WTCC races themselves. The Zengő-Dension team was well prepared: for the people at the finish line seats they handed out posters of the car with backs matching the Hungarian national colors. We were asked to hold these up to form a giant flag whenever Norbert Michelisz, the Hungarian driver, passed. With the grandstand full the atmosphere was fantastic.

Alain Menu chased by Norbert Michelisz

To much ovation Norbert ended up coming in 2nd in the first race. In the subsequent one, however, a too ambitious first corner landed him off track with the car’s nose wrecked beyond hope, only to be saved by the torrential rain which caused the race to be suspended. Boosted by the continuous encouragement coming from the stands the crew managed to put the car together with heroic effort. Michelisz risked rejoining on slick tires enabling him to run the fastest lap of the afternoon even with his car barely being held together by duct tape.

Torrential rain interrupting the second race

Most of my pictures ended up blurred or showing half cars or an empty track. The semi-decent ones are on Flickr.

Ferrari In Aid (FIA)

Even I, a Ferrari supporter, think this is too much. Naturally I was upset about the results of the Belgian race, Kimi trashing his car the way he did on the penultimate lap, nevertheless penalising Hamilton with extra time after the race is lacking in aesthetic judgement. While every other time a (non-McLaren) driver made a mistake the judges opted for penalty fees, this time they decided to alter the very results. How can one take the races seriously after these decisions?

I don’t think I’m alone with the opinion anyway, that F1 got way too entangled in obscure regulations which are against the essence of competition. While I agree that rules must be laid down to keep oder and safety on the track, lately not even the teams seem to remember and apply them all. Also the decisions when to inflict a penalty and what kind seem quite arbitrary to me.

I wouldn’t want to win a race like Massa won this one either. If he eventually manages to win the championship I’m sure no-one will forget how today’s Grand Prix helped him to it.