Huff faces uphill task to repeat Beijing victory in Shanghai
In stark contrast to a week ago when a champagne-soaked Rob Huff celebrated giving LADA Sport its maiden FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) victory in Beijing, the former Champion faces an uphill struggle after qualifying 15th for the second Chinese leg at the Shanghai International Circuit (11 October).
The Shanghai International Circuit (SIC) is a purpose-built venue for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix and is part of the modern breed of racetrack that presents a very different challenge to Beijing’s tight and twisty Goldenport Park Circuit, which hosted the most recent round of the WTCC one week ago (4-5 October).
SIC’s wide, elongated straights are connected by hairpins and tight sequences of corners that favours aerodynamically efficient machinery and plays to the strengths of LADA Sport’s rivals.
As expected, Huff and his LADA Sport teammates, James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy, all struggled to threaten the top ten and the 2012 WTCC Champion took his race-winning Granta Sport to 15th on the grid, missing out on the Q2 top-12 shootout by four tenths of a second.
Ever the optimist, Huff has vowed to give his all in Sunday’s two 14-lap contests, using his supreme racecraft to make the best of what promises to be a difficult weekend in Shanghai, saying: “I will give it my best for the team and my sponsors this weekend, as I welcome back AG Group for the remainder of the 2014 season. AG Group was with me for my win on the streets of Macau last year and Iconic Bet and OCC LASIK have tasted victory this season. LADA Sport has been a winning team already this year and I know it will be again. It’s just that it may not be this weekend.”
Rounds 17 and 18 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) are scheduled to take place at 15.00 and 16.10 local time (CET+6) respectively and will be broadcast live on Eurosport.
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.