Podiums on reigning Champion Huff's agenda in Land of the Rising Sun

18/09/13 Race Preview

Podiums on reigning Champion Huff's agenda in Land of the Rising Sun

Reigning Champion Rob Huff has designs on podium finishes when Japan’s tight and twisty Suzuka circuit hosts Rounds 19 and 20 of the 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) this weekend (21-22 September).

After a sensational start to his 2013 campaign with the ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport team, Huff’s title-defence has since been stymied by a series of unfortunate mechanical maladies.

A brace of eighth place finishes and two DNFs in Argentina and the United States have left the Newmarket-domiciled racer – an official ambassador of Newmarket Racecourses – trailing in the championship standings.

However, 32-year old Huff is praying for a reversal in fortune when the world’s premier saloon car championship resumes at Suzuka in the Land of the Rising Sun this weekend (21-22 September).

Located 50km South West of Nagoya, Suzuka is the venue for the 199th and 200th WTCC races to be held since the championship’s inauguration in 2005.

With a bumper 30-car entry and very few overtaking opportunities to be found on the 2.24km-long East Circuit, Huff’s emphasis will be on maximising his speed over a single-lap in qualifying to give him a realistic shot at the podium places on Sunday.

“Because it’s so short, tight and twisty, Suzuka is one circuit where you really need to get your act together quickly and ensure you qualify well,” said Huff. “Three tenths of a second can be the difference between lining-up in fifth or 15th on the grid and, as overtaking is almost impossible, you can pretty much write off your weekend if you don’t get up at the sharp end.

“My ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport team and I have had rotten luck lately, encountering various problems that have been completely out of our control. It has pretty much destroyed our championship, but that means we have nothing to lose by going for broke and chasing those race wins and podium finishes. Victory might be difficult to achieve in Japan, but I reckon we might be able to capitalise on the reversed grid and take a podium in the second race.”

Coverage of Rounds 19 and 20 will be beamed live across the globe on Eurosport from 6.15 (BST).

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