NEWS

Rob Huff battles his way into the points in another wet WTCC race in Japan

29/10/17 Race Results

Rob Huff battles his way into the points in another wet WTCC race in Japan

Motegi, JapanMotegi, Japan - 29/10/17 Race 1: 8TH Race 2: 11TH

Rob Huff had a testing weekend at the Japanese Motegi circuit, with the race weekend a washout for the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the second weekend in a row.

The second race was abandoned, with Huff given little opportunity to fight his way forward after a tough qualifying session.

With most of the weekend’s track activity condensed into one day due to the late arrival of all the team’s equipment after a typhoon last week, there was little time between sessions to work on set-ups and work on any issues, which were quickly apparent for the ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport team after Free Practice 2, when Huff was unable to find any pace from his new batch of Yokohama wet tyres.

The Briton was unable to qualify any higher than 13th, with the handling issues from practice persisting through qualifying, which was just one hour after the end of practice. This left the Münnich Motorsport Citroën driver having to work his way forward during the races.

After a good start in Race 1, Huff found himself battling with the Volvo of Nicky Catsburg, and the two Hondas of Ryo Michigami and Norbert Michelisz while the three drivers recovered after earlier issues in the race.

Huff crossed the line eighth and was able to score some useful points in both the overall and independent drivers’ championships, while the rain was even heavier for the second race which meant just four laps were held under green flag conditions with treacherous levels of water lying on the circuit.

The race was eventually abandoned with Huff classified just outside of the points.

The WTCC now takes a three week break before the championship’s premier event, the Guia Race of Macau, where Huff won on his last outing in 2015, and aims to chase a record ninth victory at the internationally famous motor racing venue.

Rob Huff said:

“We’re all scratching our heads as the performance was up and down all weekend. Yesterday everything was good, but all we did today was change tyres and then suddenly we were three seconds slower. 

“Yesterday we had an older batch of tyres and we were quick, but today we had the new ones and we much slower. It looked like the same thing happened to (Tom) Chilton in Race 2, as he was four seconds slower than he was in Race 1 and was struggling to control it and span off. 

“We were fast in the wet in China, but we’ve come here and we were nowhere. We changed a lot of things on the car, but no matter what we did we had no front-end grip coming out of the corners.

“There’s nothing we can do but put this weekend behind us and focus and look forward to my favourite track Macau, where hopefully it’ll be dry and we can try and finish this season in style.”

WTCC – Japan Race 1 
1 – Tom Chilton – Citroën – 11 Laps
2 – Yann Ehrlacher – Lada – 13.158
3 – Esteban Guerrieri – Honda – 15.288
4 – Thed Björk – Volvo – 15.846
5 – Mehdi Bennani – Citroën – 19.053
6 – Kevin Gleason – Lada – 20.659
7 – Norbert Michelisz – Honda – 27.349
8 – Rob Huff – Citroën – 36.278
9 – Nicky Catsburg – Volvo – 36.629
10 – Ryo Michigami – Honda – 37.104

WTCC – Japan Race 2 (red-flagged)
1 – Norbert Michelisz – Honda – 9 Laps
2 – Nicky Catsburg – Volvo – 0.392
3 – Néstor Girolami – Volvo – 1.798
4 – Esteban Guerrieri – Honda – 3.306
5 – Thed Björk – Volvo – 5.554
6 – Mehdi Bennani – Citroën – 6.196
7 – Yann Ehrlacher – Lada – 7.083
8 – Kevin Gleason – Lada – 7.537
9 – John Filippi – Citroën – 7.911
10 – Tom Chilton – Citroën – 8.764
11 – Rob Huff – Citroën – +9.633

WTCC standings

1 – Thed Björk – Volvo – 228.5
2 – Norbert Michelisz – Honda – 212
3 – Nicky Catsburg – Volvo – 209.5
4 – Tiago Monteiro – Honda – 200
5 – Tom Chilton – Citroën – 184.5
6 – Mehdi Bennani – Citroën – 184
7 – Esteban Guerrieri – Honda – 180
8 – Rob Huff – Citroën – 142 
9 – Néstor Girolami – Volvo – 110
10 – Yann Ehrlacher – Lada – 90