A perfect end to Rob Huff's TCR season, with victory in China

08/10/17 News

A perfect end to Rob Huff's TCR season, with victory in China

Rob Huff capped off his season in the TCR International Series in style at the new Zhejiang circuit in China, taking pole position and a victory during his final outing of the season with Leopard Racing WRT Team in his Volkswagen Golf.

The Cambridge-based driver showed strong pace throughout practice at the brand new Chinese circuit, and placed the Golf GTI TCR on pole position with his final run in a tight qualifying session, taking pole position ahead of his team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay.

With two races on Sunday, the second of which featured the reversed grid, a race win was theoretically more likely in the first race, but it was in Race 2 that Huff triumphed; driving from tenth to first and closing down on early race leader James Nash to score his first win of the season. The race was contact-heavy, with tough battles as he charged through the field, particularly with the Audi of sports car regular Frédéric Vervisch and the similar Volkswagen of WestCoast Racing driver Gianni Morbidelli.

Starting on pole in the first race, a clutch issue saw him slip to eighth position at the start, but he’d recover to finish third, claiming the final step on the podium, before following this up with a win in Race 2, also his final meeting of the 2017 TCR International Series, as the newly rescheduled finale at Dubai will clash with his attempt to take a world record of victories at the Macau Grand Prix on November 19th. 

Rob Huff said:

“I’m hugely pleased to have my first TCR win this year, as well as have a podium and pole position all on my last weekend.

“Zhejiang’s a very tight and twisty track, and everyone said we weren’t going to be able to overtake here, but I think we’ve seen more overtaking today than we’ve ever had.

“In the first race, my brand new clutch was only on its second start and it overheated, which bogged the car down so I dropped to seventh or eighth, and I had to work my way back up.

“I think I’ve done more overtaking this season than any other, so when we get to the end of the year I’m going to have to count it all up and see if that’s a record.

“To win my last race is a perfect way to end the season, and I need to say a huge thanks to the Leopard WRT team for welcoming me and letting me put my touch on their championship, and hopefully JK now wins the championship in Dubai. He’s going to Dubai with a 21-point lead, and he’s going to have a bloody good team-mate there to help him out, which I’m sure will surprise some people.”

TCR International Series – China Race 1 

1. Gabriele Tarquini – Hyundai i30– 19 Laps
2. Jean-Karl Vernay – Volkswagen Golf – 1.626
3. Rob Huff – Volkswagen Golf – +1.970
4. Gianni Morbidelli – Volkswagen Golf – +3.016
5. Pepe Oriola – SEAT León – +7.035
6. Frédéric Vervisch – +11.787
7. Roberto Colciago – +15.380
8. Davit Kajaia – Alfa Romeo Giulietta – +16.972
9. James Nash – SEAT León – +19.028
10. Aurélien Panis – Honda Civic – +19.679

TCR International Series – China Race 1
1. Rob Huff – Volkswagen Golf – 19 Laps

2. Gianni Morbidelli – Volkswagen Golf – +2.403
3. James Nash – SEAT León – +3.511
4. Alain Menu – Hyundai i30 – +23.435
5. Pepe Oriola – SEAT León +24.206
6. Gabriele Tarquini – Hyundai i30 – +24.668
7. Zheng Zhen Dong – Audi RS 3 – +25.442
8. Roberto Colciago – Honda Civic – +26.902
9. Attila Tassi – Honda Civic – +36.852
10. Rafael Galiana – Volkswagen Golf – +50.687