NEWS

Rob Huff calls for rules rethink after Slovakia disaster

16/07/18 Race Results

Rob Huff calls for rules rethink after Slovakia disaster

Slovakiaring - 15/07/18 Race 1: 19th Race 2: 25th Race 3: DNF

Volkswagens unable to fight just a month after pole record in Portugal

Rob Huff has called for the championship organisers of the FIA World Touring Car Cup to look into the series’ equalisation methods, after all the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCRs were destructively off the pace at the latest round of the championship at the Slovakiaring.

Huff headed to the Slovakiaring knowing the 5.9km circuit would not suit the Volkswagen Golf, with which he romped to pole position last time out at the Vila Real street circuit three weeks’ ago.

It soon became clear that things were going to be worse than expected, with the three Volkswagens entered for the race right at the back of the timing sheets during free practice.

Huff could only qualify 20th for Race 1, 2.5 seconds from the fastest time of the Hyundai of Gabriele Tarquini, with the team opting to save tyres for the next round in the second qualifying session, with points seemingly impossible during the weekend.

The Cambridge-based driver finished Race 1 in 19th position, while he retired from Race 2 after qualifying 25th. Things were a little better in Race 3, climbing to 14th, but a lot of that was by avoiding trouble, with ten cars failing to make the finish.

With the team running two state-of-the-art, brand new Golf GTI TCRs this weekend, Huff says there’s no reason other than the championship’s Balance of Performance (BoP) measures which are causing the problems.

Rob Huff said:

“It’s been a terrible weekend, and not for the right reasons. The guys have done a fantastic job getting the new cars ready for this weekend after the trouble we had in Portugal, and it’s a shame to be repaying their efforts with a zero score weekend from both myself and my team-mate Mehdi (Bennani).

“Unfortunately, it’s fairly clear where the problem is, and there’s something the championship needs to sort out.

“In Qualifying 2, we found more pace but were still 1.8 seconds from the Hyundais. We know because of the pace we had at Vila Real in Portugal we’re a little heavier this weekend, but we’re only 10kg heavier than them, and they have a power reduction and are 20mm higher than us, so with that they should be the same as us, not nearly two seconds faster.

“We had no performance this weekend, and no chance to fight. We had a local driver in a Golf at the race this weekend, and we were also 1.7 seconds faster than him, and he’s been around this track 40 times and holds the lap record in a Ferrari around here.

“It’s been a frustrating weekend for all of us, and with BoP the talking point of the weekend, with Hyundais and Hondas being excluded left, right and centre, clearly something needs to be done, and I hope they use the two months break until the next round to find a solution, as this isn’t what we’re here for.”
 


Qualifying 1 result

1 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 2:09.312
2 - Aurélien Comte - DG Sport Compétition - Peugeot 308TCR - 1.014
3 - Pepe Oriola - Campos Racing - Cupra TCR - 1.163
4 - Esteban Guerrieri - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 1.175
5 - Jean-Karl Vernay - Team WRT - Audi RS 3 LMS - 1.253
20 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 2.531

Race 1 result


1 - Pepe Oriola - Campos Racing - Cupra TCR - 11 laps
2 - Jean-Karl Vernay - Team WRT - Audi RS 3 LMS - 1.734
3 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 2.374
4 - Aurélien Comte - DG Sport Compétition - Peugeot 308TCR - 5.525
5 - Fabrizio Giovanardi - Team Mulsanne - Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR - 5.773
19 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 22.247

Qualifying 2 result


1 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 2:10.340
2 - Aurélien Comte - DG Sport Compétition - Peugeot 308TCR - 0.237
3 - Esteban Guerrieri - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 0.738
4 - Yvan Muller - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 0.760
5 - John Filippi - Campos Racing - Cupra TCR - 1.291
25 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 1.838

Race 2 result


1 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 9 laps
2 - Norbert Nagy - Zengo Motorsport - Cupra TCR - 2.15
3 - Yvan Muller - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 3.354
4 - Pepe Oriola - Campos Racing - Cupra TCR - 4.75
5 - Benjamin Lessennes - Boutsen Ginion Racing - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 5.313
23 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - DNF

Race 3 result


1 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 13 laps
2 - Aurélien Comte - DG Sport Compétition - Peugeot 308TCR - 2.005
3 - Frédéric Vervisch - Comtoyou Racing - Audi RS 3 LMS - 8.273
4 - Thed Bjork - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 8.312
5 - Petr Fulín - Fullin Race Academy - Cupra TCR - 8.796
14 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 46.026


The next round of the 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup takes place at the Ningbo International Speedpark in China on 29th-30th September.