Huff ready for double-header on Germany's iconic Nurburgring Nordschleife
Rob Huff is preparing for a busy weekend of racing at Germany’s iconic Nürburgring that will see him contest both FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hour races on the highly demanding Nordschleife (14-17 May).
The former World Champion arrives in Germany’s Eifel Mountains following a weekend of mixed emotions at Hungary’s Hungaroring, where he set the seventh quickest time in qualifying to underline the potential of the new-for-2015 LADA Vesta TC1, before being brutally taken out by a trio of Citroën Elysées in race two.
Huff and his LADA SPORT ROSNEFT team have partaken in a collective test at the Nürburgring to get to grips with ever-winding 14-mile circuit, and the Newmarket-based driver set the ninth quickest time (8m49.432s) overall.
Germany returns to the WTCC calendar for the first time since 2011 when races were held at Oschersleben, and it’s fair to say that a bigger challenge awaits the drivers this year, as the field will complete three tours of the legendary, yet daunting, 154-turn Nordschleife in each of the weekend’s two races (Saturday (16 May).
“The Nürburgring Nordschleife is the most challenging circuit in the world,” said Huff. “It’s by far the longest track too, and that means the cars are given more of a workout than they ordinarily would at more conventional circuits. In contrast to the velvet-smooth F1-style circuits we typically visit, the Nordschleife is a bumpy and undulating road course, so setups will be different and finding the correct balance will be critical.”
As well as piloting his LADA SPORT ROSNEFT Vesta TC1, Huff will also get behind the wheel of Team Premio’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, which will be equipped with Dunlop tyres, and will be assisted by the experienced MCG Racing outfit, under the guidance of Hans-Peter Naundorf, for the 2015 ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hour race.
Huff will form one part of an all-pro effort, lining up alongside Phillip Frommenwiler, Kenneth Heyer and Christian Krognes in what is hoped to be a front-running entry.
No stranger to the Nordschleife, Huff has raced on ‘The Green Hell’ on four previous occasions, most recently in 2014’s Nürburgring 24 Hours when he famously commuted between the WTCC’s Race of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and the German venue for practice and race stints.
Previous outings include class victories in the VLN and 24-Hour qualification races in an Audi TTRS, and Huff hopes to add a further success to his résumé in 2015 with both the LADA Vesta and SLS AMG GT3.
“I am very much looking forward to a busy weekend at ‘The Ring’,” said Huff. “I am thankful to the team and Dunlop for allowing me the opportunity to take on the 24 Hours in front-running machinery, which I think is worthy recognition of my endurance outings last year at the Nordschliefe and elsewhere, having also achieved five podiums in six starts, including a second place finish in an SLS at the Dubai 24 Hour race.
“Knowing both the Mercedes and the track well, I am hoping to settle right in and get a strong result in both the WTCC event and 24 Hours.”
The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) runs as part of the Nürburgring 24 Hour and qualifying will get underway at 18.20 (DST) on Friday(15 May), with the two races the following day (Saturday 16 May) at 11.15 (DST) and 12.30 (DST) respectively.
Qualifying for the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hour is scheduled to get underway at 19.25 (DST) on Thursday (14 May), with the headline race at 16.00 on Saturday (16 May).