NEWS

Rob Huff happy after positive showing in crazy Hungary races

28/04/19 Race Results

Rob Huff happy after positive showing in crazy Hungary races

HungaroringHungaroring - 26/04/19 Race 1: 14th Race 2: 7th Race 3: 7th

Two top tens in Hungary mark great step forward for the team

Rob Huff has said his Hungarian race weekend was a great step forward and he was really happy with the team and the results, after a tricky start to the 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup season three weeks' ago in Morocco.

The weekend didn't start too well after a braking problem in qualifying relegated the 2012 champion to 17th on the grid, but he was able to battle his way forward in a relatively quiet race to finish 14th and score key points in the championship.

On Sunday, things were markedly better, with the team working hard to improve the set-up overnight, and Huff was instantly on the pace, and managed to hurl his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR into the second part of qualifying after setting the eighth fastest time.

Qualifying 2 was a tough battle however, and the Briton missed the all important tenth place by just 0.024 seconds, which would have given him pole position for the reversed grid second race.

Ahead of the second race, rain had been lightly falling on the track, which made the set-up and tyre strategy a difficult one for the teams.

Huff made the correct call with slick Yokohama tyres, and had a eventful race fighting his way forward, battling his way up to seventh, finishing just behind his former team-mate and championship rival Yvan Muller, though his car showed a number of scars, after some contact with the Hyundai of Nicky Catsburg and the Honda of Attila Tassi.

The car was quickly repaired for Race 3, and Huff again made his way forward, picking up some positions at the start, before getting involved in a fight with championship newcomer Daniel Haglof's Cupra TCR, picking him off for eighth after a good battle, and then closed on championship leader Néstor Girolami's Honda - setting the fastest lap of the weekend in the process, showing the good pace of the Volkswagen. 

Although Huff was unable to find a way past Girolami, his eighth place became seventh following the retirement of Esteban Guerrieri's Honda, with the race finishing behind the safety car.

Huff's points tally now stands at 25 and the best-placed of the four Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen drivers in the championship after six races - and the Briton hopes the leap forward in pace since Round 1 will replicate again before the next round in Slovakia.

Rob Huff said:

“I’m really happy with our weekend, and especially today. We’ve made really good progress. In qualifying on Sunday morning, the car was what I hoped for on Saturday, so it was good as we'd all worked in a positive direction, and I feel we got he most out of the car in qualifying.

“When it came to the races and the conditions - we know this car always races very well with degradation of lap time, and that definitely showed today.

"I think we made the most of very tricky conditions, and I think being British helped with the dynamics of the track being wet and racing with slick tyres.  The racing was very tough, and it was very aggressive. We had a lot of damage but we survived and got some good points with seventh.

“In the third race, it was a more traditional World Touring Car race shall we say. I made a good start, and I made the right choice by going around the outside at Turn 1, as their was a kerfuffle in front, and then at Turn 2 there was another so I picked up some  places. Then (Daniel) Haglöf and I were having a bit of a fight, I got past him at the chicane, he got back ahead at Turn 12 but he made a mistake on the next lap and I got him again at Turn 11, which was a nice scrap.

"I managed to close the gap down to Néstor Girolami and got the fastest lap of the weekend in the process. So it was another P7 with another strong race.

"On the whole, it’s not exactly where I want to be, to be fighting that hard just for seventh, but ultimately that’s the way the championship is now.

"We need to raise our level – which we’ve done since Marrakech, and we need to make another step ahead of Slovakia, which we know from last year was our nemesis track – but I’m really happy with the team, and the job the guys did with the car this weekend."
 


Qualifying 1 result

1 - Néstor Girolami - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 1:52.586
2 - Yvan Muller - Cyan Racing - Lynk & Co 03 TCR - 0.171
3 - Esteban Guerrieri - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 0.307
4 - Aurélien Panis - Comtoyou Racing - Cupra TCR - 0.369
5 - Yann Ehrlacher - Cyan Racing - Lynk & Co 03 TCR - 0.456
17 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 0.910

Race 1 result


1 - Néstor Girolami - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 12 laps
2 - Yvan Muller - Cyan Racing - Lynk & Co 03 TCR - 0.475
3 - Esteban Guerrieri - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 0.926
4 - Jean-Karl Vernay - WRT - Audi RS 3 LMS - 1.846
5 - Aurélien Panis - Comtoyou Racing - Cupra TCR - 2.265
14 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 13.762

Qualifying 2 result


1 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 1:52.784
2 - Esteban Guerrieri - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 0.008
3 - Yann Ehrlacher - Cyan Racing - Lynk & Co 03 TCR - 0.040
4 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 0.123
5 - Néstor Girolami - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR
11 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 0.576

Race 2 result

1 - Néstor Girolami - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 12 laps
2 - Jean-Karl Vernay - WRT - Audi RS 3 LMS - 2.529
3 - Daniel Haglöf - PWR Racing - Cupra TCR - 3.507
4 - Mikel Azcona - PWR Racing - Cupra TCR - 5.260
5 - Esteban Guerrieri - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 12.822
7 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 15.245

Race 3 result

1 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 15 laps
2 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 0.739
3 - Yann Ehrlacher - Cyan Racing - Lynk & Co 03 TCR - 1.535
4 - Mikel Azcona - PWR Racing - Cupra TCR - 1.785
5 - Thed Björk - Cyan Racing - Lynk & Co 03 TCR - 2.112
7 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 3.051

The next round of the 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup takes place at the Slovakiaring near Bratislava on 10th-12th May.