Race Archive 2014
Huff keeps his head above water to deliver points for the LADASport LUKOIL Team in soaking Slovakia
Britain’s Rob Huff again displayed why he is the holder of two coveted British Racing Drivers Clubs Gold Stars with an accomplished performance in adverse conditions in his developing LADA Granta WTCC car at the Slovakia Ring this weekend (11 May).
Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship took place at the Slovakia Ring, a modern facility 40kms outside of Bratislava, a venue where Huff took the top step of the podium in 2012 - his World Championship winning season.
This year’s expectations were a little lower. The progress into Q2 with a twelfth place start represented a small victory already for the weekend and the wet conditions that greeted the drivers to the grid was a welcome bonus for Huff as wet conditions would allow talent to prevail over outright car performance giving hope for a decent result, one that he hoped to share live with the millions of viewers worldwide as he carried a car-to-live TV intercom once again for the broadcasters of the Championship, Eurosport.
As the rain was starting to fall more steadily, Huff nailed the start and took the inside line into turn one, emerging briefly in seventh position and enjoying a tussle with the works Honda’s, driven by ex F1 drivers Tarquini and Monteiro. For 5 laps Huff raced wheel to wheel with the pair, who had regained the advantage as Huff’s tyres came up to temperature. On lap six Huff got back past Tarquini only to slip back once again as the steady rain became a deluge and the safety car was deployed.
Huff gave the Eurosport viewers a running commentary of what conditions were like as the track gradually disappeared under a river of water. The race officials were able to use the first hand information to realise the severity of the situation and show the red flag to conclude the race early.
Ninth place a fair reward for driver and team alike.
Emerging form the wet car, Rob quipped to the waiting ‘Huff Daddy’ “remember when we were in the MGB at Croft? Well its worse out there than that!”
Race two was some four hours later in the day and in failing light and track conditions still saturated, the inevitable decision to abandon the meeting was taken in the interests of driver safety.
A sense of relief after what had proved a long but satisfying weekend prevailed as the LADASport LUKOIL team packed up ahead of a further week of testing in Slovakia ahead of rounds 9 and 10 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the Salzburgring, Austria in two weeks time (24/25 May).