Huff seeks glory at Honda's home as he begins month of motorsport in WTCC Japan
Rob Huff will clock up plenty of air miles as he darts between Asia and Europe during the month of September.
The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) Race of Japan at Twin Ring Motegi (2-4 September) and the Race of China in Shanghai (23-25 September) bookend a pair of historics outings in the Goodwood Revival and Spa Six Hours.
Firstly, the WTCC will go east to Japan and Twin Ring Motegi; a 4.8km lap where long straights link tight turns provide plenty of overtaking opportunities and Huff marked himself out as the ‘pass-master’ on the championship’s first visit to the Japanese circuit in 2015, executing no fewer than ten passing moves to rise from a lowly 13th to third in race two.
While Huff enjoyed his -pass-master’ status, it’s not a title the British racer is keen to defend. Instead, he would prefer to lead from the front on his Castrol Honda Racing team’s home turf and recent form suggests he will be a contender.
Fourth in the Drivers’ standings after achieving a huge haul of points for a double podium in the Race of Argentina, Huff will have a Honda Civic Type-R that’s laden with the maximum 80kg of success ballast in Japan.
However, the 2012 World Champion is unperturbed by this weight gain and will be gunning for pole position, Honda’s sixth Manufacturers Against the Clock (MAC3) win and race victories to reward the swathes of Honda supporters, VIP guests and employees in the WTCC’s annual visit to the Land of the Rising Sun.
“It’s Castrol Honda Racing’s home round and Twin Ring Motegi is tremendous for racing and overtaking, so I’m really excited about getting out to Japan,” said Huff. “Last year I started both races from lowly grid positions and achieved a podium result. A win would be fantastic this time around, but we have to be realistic and acknowledge that it’s going to be difficult with 80kg of ballast on-board.
“The whole week is going to be great. We have a visit to Honda’s Research and Development facility and its simulator, media interviews and meets and greets with the hard-working people behind the scenes who have been involved with the WTCC programme from the start. Honda will have a lot of support and I’m determined to put on the best show possible! The fact is, we still managed to secure pole position with 70kg of weight in Morocco and Twin Ring Motegi should play to the Civic Type-R’s strengths.”
After the WTCC Race of Japan, Huffy will return to home shores for one of the highlights of the British motor racing calendar, the Goodwood Revival (9-11 September), where he will race a beautiful CUT 7 Jaguar E-Type, an alluring Aston Martin Zagato a plucky Austin A35, a rapid Ford Capri and an evocative Lotus 19.
This will be followed by a trip to Belgium’s Ardennes Forest for the Spa Six Hours, where Huff will manhandle a legendary Ford GT40, Ford Galaxie and Lola T70 around the spectacular Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (16-18 September), before closing the month with a return to Asia for the WTCC Race of Shanghai (23-25 September).