A great weekend in Hungary for Rob Huff keeps title challenge on track
Hungaroring, Hungary - 14/05/17
Race 1: 3rd
Race 2: 10th
Rob Huff showed great pace in the latest round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Hungary after claiming pole position in the ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport Citroën C-Elysée, and securing his third podium finish in a row in the opening race on Sunday.
Huff was all set to convert his pole position into a main race victory, which would have seen him leave the weekend second in the drivers’ standings, but an accident soon after the start saw the British driver forced to serve a drive-through penalty.
In qualifying, Huff produced his best time in the one-lap qualifying shootout, outpacing the identical Citroën C-Elysée of Mehdi Bennani.
In the reversed grid opening race, Huff avoided a stalled car at the start and getting up to sixth, while working his way past two more cars to finish third, proving that passing on the Hungaroring in touring cars is possible.
This was a talent he demonstrated again in Race 2, albeit for the wrong reasons, having to work his way forward from the back of the order after a drive-through penalty following a first lap incident with two of the Volvos. Huff grabbed a single point after finishing tenth which could prove vital come the end of the season.
Rob Huff said:
“My qualifying lap was a great lap, I was really pleased with it. I’ve never been a huge one lap person, I’m more of a racer, but to make a lap like that for the team was great.
“As for the second race, unfortunately, this car is very difficult to get off the line, and I messed up the start which wasn’t ideal. I recovered a little bit at Turn 1, but then just got caught out at Turn 2 when Nicky Catsburg braked a little bit early.
“It was a misjudgement on my side, so I’m ultimately responsible. To be fair, this is quite rare, I don’t remember the last time I caused an accident, but we all make mistakes, we’re only human.
“It’s a shame as it should have been our weekend – but it’s still not a bad weekend. I got five points for pole, and good points for third place in Race 1, and then managed to get a point in Race 2, at the end of the year, it might all count.”
In the championship standings, Huff is now in sixth position, 58 points back from championship leader Tiago Monteiro, with 60 available at each race weekend.
“Tiago’s getting away a bit, but at the same time in 2011 I went to Macau 27 points behind Yvan and came out three behind, so all it needs is Tiago to have one bad round like Norbert had this weekend, and it all turns around.
“We’ve now had one bad weekend and a half, so it only takes one bad round for Tiago for everyone else to be back in it again – it’s a long championship and you can’t have good luck forever.”
WTCC Hungary Qualifying
1. Rob Huff (Citroën) – 1:48.264
2. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – +0.327
3. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – +0.632
4. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – +0.677
5. Néstor Girolami (Volvo) – +.1.410
WTCC Hungary Opening Race
1. Tiago Monteiro (Honda) – 12 Laps
2. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – +0.768
3. Rob Huff (Citroën) – +2.296
4. Néstor Girolami (Volvo) – +4.537
5. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – +5.221
6. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – +10.308
7. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – +10.893
8. Yann Ehrlacher (Lada) – +13.183
9. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) – +21.703
10. Aurélien Panis (Honda) – +37.886
WTCC Hungary Main Race
1. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – 17 Laps
2. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – +0.654
3. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – +3.553
4. Norbert Michelisz (Honda) – +7.309
5. Tiago Monteiro (Honda) – +9.532
6. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – +10.875
7. Thed Björk (Volvo) – +11.865
8. Yann Ehrlacher (Lada) – +14.547
9. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) +20.783
10. Rob Huff (Citroën) – +21.212
WTCC Championship Standings
1. Tiago Monteiro (Honda) – 123 pts
2. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – 85 pts
3. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – 81 pts
4. Thed Björk (Volvo) – 77 pts
5. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – 73 pts
6. Rob Huff (Citroën) – 65 pts
7. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – 62 pts
=. Norbert Michelisz (Honda) – 62pts
9. Néstor Girolami (Volvo) – 52 pts
10. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) – 20 pts