Huff Tied In World Title Charge
Huff and Muller fight for position and the title
Rob Huff has maintained his grip on the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) title with third and fourth-place finishes at Suzuka, Japan, on 21 October 2012.
The Cambridgeshire racer started and finished the weekend tied at the top of the Drivers' Championship with reigning WTCC Champion and Chevrolet team-mate Yvan Muller. Both drivers have secured 345 points during the ten race events so far this year, with just two remaining.
Huff was strong during qualifying: he improved his lap times in both sessions to secure third on the starting grid with a 53.054-second lap of the Japanese Grand Prix circuit. However, on this occasion he was unable to match the pace of his team-mate and title rival Muller, who claimed a front row position on the grid alongside fellow Chevrolet driver and pole-sitter Alain Menu.
With the championship so close, Huff made an early move on Muller for second place, yet the Frenchman defended hard and Huff was unable to pass. Despite keeping on the race pace in his Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T, the Briton was unable to challenge again and crossed the line third, claiming his 14th podium finish of the season.
Huff lined up on the fourth row of the grid for race two in Japan. A good start promoted him to fifth with Muller and Menu behind. However, his progress through the field was halted by Mehdi Bennani who he was unable to pass until two laps before the chequered flag. A final charge around the circuit secured him a fourth-place finish, with Muller crossing the line sixth to keep the pair tied at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.
"This year’s WTCC Drivers' Championship is so unbelievably close," said Huff. "To be tied at the top of the standings after 20 races is a tricky yet positive position. There are four more races to go and I’m determined to secure as many points as possible to edge ahead of Muller in the title fight."
As well as his strong results, Huff had extra cause to celebrate this weekend as Chevrolet secured the 2012 WTCC Manufacturers’ Championship. The team has accumulated 835 points so far this season and cannot be beaten by its closest rival.
Huff will next travel to the Shanghai International Circuit, China, on 2-4 November 2012 for the penultimate race weekend of the season, where he will look to pull out a points lead from Muller.