Huff remains optimistic despite troubled WTCC season-opener in Morocco

13/04/14 Race Archive 2014

Huff remains optimistic despite troubled WTCC season-opener in Morocco

Rob Huff is filled with optimism, despite being sidelined by a mechanical issue in Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) on the streets of Marrakesh (13 April).

With back-to-back race weekends in Morocco and France, the 2012 WTCC Champion and his LADA Sport LUKOIL team took a relatively tentative approach into the first two races of the 2014 season on Marrakesh’s Circuit Moulay El Hassan.

The team continued its relentless pursuit of pace and performance and progress was made during free practice and qualifying on Friday and Saturday (11-12 April), with LADA Sport LUKOIL’s talented engineers systematically resolving issues and honing the setup of its new Granta Sport TC1.

Huff, backed by OCC LASIK, made a clean start to Round 1 on Sunday afternoon (13 April) and climbed from 13th to 11th during the opening four laps, before a misfiring engine forced him in to the pits to retire.

There was a hive of activity around his car as the team tried to identify the cause of the problem during the short interval between races one and two, but the Briton would only complete three exploratory laps in Round 2, bringing his maiden WTCC weekend in LADA Sport LUKOIL colours to a disappointing and premature conclusion.

“I’m obviously disappointed to have been sidelined by a mechanical failure, but this is inevitable given the lack of development time we’ve had with the new LADA Granta TC1,” said Huff. “What’s encouraging is that my first weekend working with LADA Sport LUKOIL shows there’s a great deal of desire and potential to win. The car clearly has pace when running smoothly too. This was demonstrated by Mikhail (Kozlovskiy) – the junior member of the team – and his sixth place in Round 2. I’m confident that, with time, the team will develop the car, iron out all the small glitches and take the fight to the Citroens later in the season.”

Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France hosts Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in a week’s time (19-20 April).

For more information on Rob Huff's racing activities, please visit the official website, 'like' his Facebook page or follow @HuffSport on Twitter.