Huff eager to show the world what LADA Sport has built in Argentine WTCC opener
Four months after the curtain came down on the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), Rob ‘Huffy’ Huff is eager to get the new season underway and “show what LADA SPORT ROSNEFT has built”, as the LADA Vesta TC1 is readied for its maiden competitive outing in Argentina (6-8 March).
A 12-round calendar awaits Huff and his WTCC counterparts in 2015 and it is Argentina’s Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo that has the honour of hosting the highly-anticipated season-opener.
The 4.8km fast-flowing circuit, where Huffy famously achieved a breakthrough podium for his LADA SPORT team in 2014, encompasses 14 elongated, high-speed turns and a number of long straights that are renowned for exposing any aerodynamic deficiencies.
There has been no let-up from for the Russia-based LADA SPORT outfit over the winter months. Countless man-hours were spent building and developing the all-new LADA Vesta to the WTCC’s TC1 technical regulations, meticulous attention to detail ensuring Huff could put the car through its paces during a faultless test run at the historic Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France last month.
Having tackled more WTCC races than any other driver with 225 starts to his name, Huff is best placed to develop the new-for-2015 Vesta and, having taken a brace of wins in the concluding part of the 2014 season with the LADA Granta 1.6T, the Iconic Bet-backed racer from Newmarket is expecting more of the same when LADA’s latest challenger takes to the track in South America.
“I am very excited to get the season underway, especially in Argentina where we had our first major success,” said Huff. “It’s a hugely popular circuit and will pull in huge crowds thanks to the defending Champion, José María López, and this adds to the atmosphere and makes it a great way to kick-off the season.
“As I haven’t raced in a while and LADA SPORT has a new car in the Vesta, there is a huge amount of anticipation. We haven’t done anywhere near the amount of testing we would have liked to, but what Viktor Shapovalov and the LADA SPORT ROSNEFT team has done in creating a brand new car from scratch is remarkable, considering we weren’t able to carry information over from last year. It’s going to a year of trial and error and we will inevitably make a few errors, but he who makes the fewest mistakes, wins."
Huff continued: “To put a label on the car at this stage would be unfair, as everything on it is brand new. A realistic goal is to finish both races and collect as much data as possible so that we can go away and develop the Vesta during the break between Argentina and Morocco. If either James (Thompson) or I do come away with a strong result, it will be a very joyous occasion. I’m excited to get out there, dig deep and show the world what LADA Sport has built.”
For more on Rob Huff's racing activities, please visit the official www.robhuff.com website, 'like' his Facebook page or follow @HuffSport on Twitter.