Huff Takes Upper Hand In WTCC Title Fight
Newmarket driver Rob Huff has moved into the lead in his bid to become World Champion for the first time, following this weekend’s rounds of the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship at Shanghai International Circuit, China.
Having entered the second last event of the season tied on points with Chevrolet team-mate Yvan Muller, Huff won Race 2 after finishing second in Race 1. Muller, meanwhile, failed to finish the opening race and was penalised for an incident in Race 2, resulting in a zero-point haul from the two races.
As a result, the Cambridge pilot Huff will head to the season finale in Macau in a fortnight holding a commanding 35-point advantage over his nearest challenger and also Chevrolet team-mate Alain Menu. There will be a maximum of 55 points available during the 15-18 November event.
With a time of 1:54.491, Huff took his Chevrolet Cruze to pole position for Race 1. He stayed well clear of a first corner incident that involved a number of drivers and ended Muller’s race, and settled into second place behind Menu, remaining there to claim his 15th podium finish of the season.
From the fourth row of the grid, Huff produced a crucial drive to win Race 2. He recovered from a slow start and began his charge towards the front, moving impressively into third place by Lap 3. When Muller made contact with Menu while challenging for the race lead, Huff pounced, taking top spot and claiming his fifth race win of the year ahead of Menu.
"To finish second in Race 1, win Race 2 and take the lead of the championship, the weekend couldn’t have gone much better," commented Huff.
"Leading the championship by 35 points with two races to go is a fantastic outcome. The job's not done yet, though, and this weekend showed how quickly things can change. We’ll go to Macau, where I’ve always enjoyed racing, and keep working towards the goal I’ve had all year; to win the World Championship."
In addition to his impressive Shanghai results, Huff was last week confirmed as the winner of the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club’s Gold Star for a second year in succession.
The 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship will conclude with two races around the famous Macau street circuit on 15-18 November.