Rob Huff closes on championship lead after fantastic weekend at the Nürburgring

27/05/17 Race Archive 2017

Rob Huff closes on championship lead after fantastic weekend at the Nürburgring

Rob Huff took a pair of podium finishes at the Nürburgring Nordschleife this weekend, decimating the gap to the lead of the championship, and is just 25 points behind the lead of the drivers’ standings.

Huff qualified in third position for the latest round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the Nürburgring.

In the Opening Race, Huff started from eighth in the reversed grid race, and made a great start to move up to sixth, before picking off Tiago Monteiro, Esteban Guerrieri and Tom Chilton in three calculated moves on each of the race’s laps at the end of the Döttinger Höhe straight to move into the final podium position.

In Race 2, Huff made another great start from third on the grid, and was challenging race leader Nicky Catsburg for first into Turn 2, briefly moving ahead before Catsburg ran into Huff’s car, knocking him wide and down to fourth position.

Huff quickly recovered to third, passing the other Volvo of Thed Björk, but was unable to progress further, settling for third and taking the critical points that came with it, benefitting from Tiago Monteiro’s retirement from the first race, with the Portuguese driver out after suffering a puncture.

Rob Huff said:

“The championship has closed right up here. Two podiums is great. Just to survive this weekend we’ve done well. The data and help that Citroën have given us was really good. No Citroën has had a puncture this weekend, so a huge thanks to Citroën for the job they’ve done here the last few years and allowing us to come here trouble-free.”

“Race 1 was probably one of the most exciting races of my life. When you’ve been racing as long as I have, you start wondering if you’ve still got the balls you had when you were 20, and it turns out I still do, as I went flat around the outside at Tiergarten to pass Esteban (Guerrieri), and the same with (Tom) Chilton on the last lap, which I was very happy about. Tom’s in the same car as me, he put me on the grass a little bit, but was fair. I was not going to give that up, I wanted the result for the boys. We’ve had two third places, so it’s been a fantastic weekend, and great for the team, being a German team at the Nürburgring.

“In Race 2, Nicky (Catsburg) completely messed up Turn 1. He was too busy looking at Norbi on the outside and he went really deep. I tried to give him room, and because he’d messed the corner up, I expected him withdraw the front foot of his car from the inside of mine because he’d made a mistake, but he chose not to and that dropped me to fourth.

“I’m upset with Nicky, but I’m angrier with the stewards, because the inconsistency is unforgivable. (Race steward) Tim Schenken is a lifetime race-goer, he runs one of the best championships in the world, and he sees that as racing, OK, that’s fine – but where was he at the last race weekend when I got a penalty in Budapest when I just caught the back of Nicky just because I was being drilled from behind myself?

“We’re in a World Championship, so surely they can afford to bring the same stewards to each race weekend. Let’s bring back a driver steward, which is basically what Tim Schenken is. It’s unfortunate that this championship could be decided by the inconsistency of stewarding.”

WTCC Germany Qualifying

1. Norbert Michelisz (Honda) – 8:38.072
2. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – +0.608
3. Rob Huff (Citroën) – +1.469
4. Tiago Monteiro (Honda) – +2.130
5. Thed Björk (Volvo) – +2.924

WTCC Germany Opening Race

1. Thed Björk (Volvo) – 3 Laps
2. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – +2.538
3. Rob Huff (Citroën) – +3.096
4. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – +3.732
5. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – +8.487
6. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – +8.910
7. Norbert Michelisz (Honda) – +16.496
8. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) – +16.796
9. Yann Ehrlacher (Lada) + 19.481
10. John Filippi (Citroën) – +22.889

WTCC Germany Main Race

1. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – 3 Laps
2. Norbert Michelisz (Honda) – +3.065
3. Rob Huff (Citroën) – +3.401
4. Thed Björk (Volvo) – +4.167
5. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – +5.763
6. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – +11.239
7. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) – +14.614
8. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – +14.939
9. Yann Ehrlacher (Lada) – +20.540
10. John Filippi (Citroën) – 21.928

WTCC Championship Standings

1. Nicky Catsburg (Volvo) – 127 pts
2. Tiago Monteiro (Honda) – 125 pts
3. Thed Björk (Volvo) – 119 pts
4. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – 106 pts
5. Rob Huff (Citroën) – 102 pts
6. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – 101 pts
7. Norbert Michelisz (Honda) – 96 pts
8. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – 76 pts
9. Néstor Girolami (Volvo) – 52 pts
10. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) – 31 pts

WTCC Independent Drivers’ Standings

1. Rob Huff (Citroën) – 60 pts
2. Tom Chilton (Citroën) – 59 pts
3. Mehdi Bennani (Citroën) – 55 pts
4. Esteban Guerrieri (Chevrolet) – 47 pts
5. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet) – 35 pts