Huff concludes scorching Porto weekend with hard-fought podium

30/06/13 Race Archive 2013

Huff concludes scorching Porto weekend with hard-fought podium

- Race 1: Race 2: Race 3:

Rob Huff concluded a scorching weekend in Porto, Portugal with a fighting second place in Round 14 of the 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) on the Circuit da Boavista street track (Sunday 30 June).

Reigning Champion Huff, who won on the streets of Porto on the WTCC’s most recent visit to the city in 2011, demonstrated sheer determination and commitment by recording the third fastest time during the morning warm-up for the final European event on the 2013 calendar.

A capacity crowd filled the grandstands for the bi-annual event during what was the hottest day of the summer in Portugal.

Air temperatures reached 30 degrees Celsius in the shade for the start of Round 13 and continued to climb throughout the day.

A strong start to the weekend’s opening WTCC encounter saw Huff dispatch James Thompson’s LADA Sport Granta for seventh place at Turn 2.

The Newmarket-domiciled racer immediately set after Norbert Michelisz in sixth place, applying unrelenting pressure until a glancing blow with the barriers took the Hungarian out of contention on lap two.

Huff squeezed every ounce of performance from his Oreca-engined SEAT Leon and used every inch of the narrow, bumpy and unforgiving street track in a bid to bridge the sizeable gap to the leading quintet.

The ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport driver eased away from Thompson as the laps wore on, inheriting fifth place when Gabriele Tarquini’s works Honda Civic suffered a terminal mechanical failure before the Safety Car was deployed on lap ten.

A high-speed procession ensued when the race was restarted with one lap to go. But while Huff was on terms with Pepe Oriola’s Chevrolet, he was unable to mount a challenge and received the chequered flag in a highly respectable fifth place.

With a reversed grid implemented for Round 14, Huff started from row two behind James Nash’s Chevrolet and fellow ALL-INKL.COM racer Marc Basseng.

From a standing start, Huff went wheel-to-wheel with his team-mate through Turn 1 to latch on to the rear of Nash’s Bamboo Engineering Chevy.

The leading pair made a break from the rest of the field, until a charging Michel Nykjaer was released from behind Basseng at around the mid-way point.

The Dane turned up the wick to swiftly surge up to the rear of Huff’s SEAT Leon, which was beginning to struggle in the heavy braking zones.

Huff had his hands full during the latter stages of the 11-lap race but valiantly protected second place, while Basseng became something of a distraction for Nykjaer by filling the Nika Racing driver’s rear-view mirrors.

The Newmarket Racecourses-backed Huff drove the widest SEAT Leon in the business in defence of his position to conclude a scorching weekend in Porto with a hard-fought second place.

“To achieve a third podium finish for my ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport team in its maiden season in the WTCC is just incredible,” said a relieved Huff. “I said at the start of the year that we’d take any results I could get, but the team has worked tirelessly and the results we have achieved together have far exceeded my expectations.

“This weekend has been scorchio, to say the least! It’s fair to say that the temperatures went up by quite a few degrees in the cockpit during that last race – I worked hard to deny Michele (Nykjaer) of second place in what was an entertaining battle. It's a great way to conclude the European leg of the season and I expect more of the same next time out in Argentina.”

The FIA World Touring Car Championship now heads to Argentina’s Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo for the first flyaway of the year (3-4 August).

For more information on Rob Huff’s racing activities, please ‘like’ his Facebook page or follow @HuffSport on Twitter.