A podium and a pile-up for Rob Huff in Germany
Rob Huff had a mixed weekend in the latest round of the TCR International Series in Germany, securing a strong podium finish in the first race at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben for Leopard Racing Team WRT, before he was an innocent party in a multi-car accident at the start of a chaotic second race, which saw less than half the field take the finish.
In Race 1, Huff made a great start in the Volkswagen Motorsport Golf GTI TCR, challenging new one-off team-mate Jaap van Lagen for third into the first sequence of corners, coming out on ahead and behind the rival Volkswagen of Gianni Morbidelli and fellow Briton Daniel Lloyd.
While there was drama behind, with numerous drive-through penalties and even black flags handed out for other drivers, the top six were on their best behaviour, with Huff crossing the line in a safe third position, picking up key points for the Belgian team in the championship.
In Race 2, things turned around dramatically, as Huff was part of a seven-car pile-up at the start, caused when the Honda of Roberto Colciago pushed Huff’s team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay into the SEAT of James Nash while fighting for second.
This started a “pinball effect”, with Nash slamming into Colciago, who in turn hit another one of the Volkswagens, and while Huff slowed to avoid the incident, he found himself taken out as well as he was hit from behind by Norwegian driver Stian Paulsen’s SEAT.
Huff suffered significant rear-end damage to his Golf, ruling it out of the restart after the race was red flagged.
The team have a giant task ahead of them to repair the car before it’s sent to Thailand for the next round of the TCR International Series in eight weeks, while Huff will be back in action next weekend in the World Touring Car Championship, heading to South America for the Argentinian round.
Rob Huff said:
“It’s like two extremes in two weekends. In Portugal, I overtook 11 cars and it was the talk of the town, while in Race 1, I think I had perhaps the most uneventful race of my life.
“We weren’t attacking the guys in front, we weren’t attacking the cars behind, it was virtually a stalemate. It wasn’t really a bad thing, as it let me work with the car a little bit more and try to understand it.
“We made some really positive changes for Race 2, but just got caught in the big spill, which is a shame as I thought I’d done really well to avoid everyone, but then I just got a massive hit from behind.
“The good thing is, my team-mate JK (Vernay) is back in the lead of the championship – that’s the main goal and we achieved that, so on that side of it, we did a good job.”
TCR International Series – Germany Race 1
1. Gianni Morbidelli – Volkswagen – 19 Laps
2. Daniel Lloyd – SEAT – +2.314
3. Rob Huff – Volkswagen – +5.890
4. James Nash – SEAT – 6.454
5. Giacomo Altoé – Volkswagen – +9.938
6. Stefano Comini – Audi – +16.300
7. Mat’o Homola – Opel – +16.794
8. Jaap van Lagen – Volkswagen – +16.992
9. Danny Kroes – SEAT – +23.892
10. Frédéric Vervisch – Audi – +27.858
TCR International Series – Germany Race 2
1. Gianni Morbidelli – Volkswagen – 15 Laps
2. Mat’o Homola – Opel – +0.434
3. Jean-Karl Vernay – Volkswagen – +0.716
4. Daniel Lloyd – SEAT – +0.908
5. Stefano Comini – Audi – +16.127
6. Frédéric Vervisch – Audi -+27.291
7. Duncan Ende – SEAT – +31.037
8. Jens Reno Moller – Honda – +1:06.803
9. Davit Kajaia – Alfa Romeo – +2 Laps
10. Ferenc Ficza – Kia – +2 Laps
DNF. Rob Huff – Volkswagen – Accident