Rob Huff catapults forward after a great weekend at Monza
Monza, Italy - 30/04/17
Race 1: 2nd
Race 2: 3rd
Rob Huff made a giant leap forward in the championship after two podium finishes at the latest round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the Autodromo di Monza in Italy, and also seizing the lead of the WTCC Trophy.
The Briton qualified in third position on Saturday in the ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport Citroën C-Elysée, acheived after a stunning lap in the one-lap shootout despite the 50kg of compensation weight that his Citroën has to carry, which hampered his pace compared to the manufacturer-backed Volvos and Hondas around him on the grid.
In the reversed grid opening race, Huff carved his way forward from eighth in an action-packed race, which saw nearly every car sustain damage, and almost a third of the field fail to make the finish.
Some decisive overtaking manoeuvres during the first lap saw him running in fifth by the end of the first lap, which soon became third after the race leading pair of Mehdi Bennani and Norbert Michelisz collided at the famous Parabolica corner.
Huff would pick off Morocco race winner Esteban Guerrieri for second position, but couldn’t find a way past Tom Chilton’s identical Citroën during the final laps of the race.
After Race 1, Rob Huff said:
“I made a really nice move on Esteban. He made a mistake braking for the Parabolica, and I got up the inside at the exit and we had a great slipstream fight down the straight.
“I then closed the gap on Tom. My car was quicker, but when you have the same car, the strengths are in the same places. I was much better than him in sector one through the chicanes, but he was good at Ascari and Parabolica, and that was enough to keep him where he was.”
In the second race, Huff started from third on the grid, and that’s where he finished in a quieter race than the first, chasing the Honda of Tiago Monteiro throughout, finishing just a fraction of a second behind his title rival at the finish.
After Race 2, Rob Huff said:
“This is the start of our championship. It was frustrating to lose one round so early with the problems we had at Marrakech, but this is where we should be and what we were planning for. I’m really happy to have had a successful weekend here at Monza.
“We’re going to keep doing our best, but we’re one round down already with the issues we had in Morocco. Tiago has had two very good weekends, but we’ll keep plugging away and keep scoring points, and with a few more weekends like this we’ll be back in the game again.”
Rob Huff also dominated the WTCC Trophy for non-manufacturer entered drivers at Monza, taking the points for pole, both fastest laps and a class win in Race 2 to move into the lead of the standings by one point over fellow Briton Tom Chilton.
The next round of the championship takes place at the Hungaroring in two weeks’ time, where Huff scored the Münnich Motorsport team’s first victory back in 2013 whilst the reigning champion.
WTCC Italy Qualifying
1. Thed Björk (Volvo)
2. Tiago Monteiro (Honda)
3. Rob Huff (Citroën)
4. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo)
5. Néstor Girolami (Volvo)
WTCC Italy Opening Race
1. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – 9 Laps
2. Rob Huff (Citroën) – 0.329
3. Tiago Monteiro (Honda) – 2.630
4. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – 6.899
5. Thed Björk (Volvo) – 7.793
6. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) – 11.100
7. John Filippi (Citroën) – 12.928
8. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – 18.067
9. Kevin Gleason (Lada) – 18.449
10. Daniel Nagy (Honda) – 19.200
WTCC Italy Main Race
1. Thed Björk (Volvo) – 12 Laps
2. Tiago Monteiro (Honda) – 2.174
3. Rob Huff (Citroën) – 2.779
4. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – 3.269
5. Néstor Girolami (Volvo) – 6.180
6. Norbert Michelisz (Honda) – 6.181
7. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – 9.582
8. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – 11.522
9. Yann Ehrlacher (Lada) – 11.877
10. John Filippi (Citroën) – 12.077
WTCC Championship Standings
1. Tiago Monteiro (Honda) – 85 pts
2. Thed Björk (Volvo) – 70 pts
3. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – 50 pts
4. Norbert Michelisz (Honda) – 46 pts
5. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – 44 pts
=. Rob Huff (Citroën) – 44 pts
7 – Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – 41 pts
8 – Néstor Girolami (Volvo) – 39 pts
9 – Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – 33 pts
10 – Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) – 16 pts
WTCC Trophy Standings
1. Rob Huff (Citroën) – 27 pts
2. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – 26 pts
3. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – 25 pts
4. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – 24 pts
5. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) – 19 pts
6. John Filippi (Citroën) – 12 pts
7. Yann Ehrlacher (Lada) – 9 pts
8. Daniel Nagy (Honda) – 7 pts
9. Aurélien Panis (Honda) – 6 pts
10. Kevin Gleason (Lada) – 4 pts