NEWS

Rob Huff leaves China with a win, a podium, and a leap forward in the standings

16/10/17 Race Results

Rob Huff leaves China with a win, a podium, and a leap forward in the standings

Ningbo, ChinaNingbo, China - 15/10/17 Race 1: DNF Race 2: DNF

Rob Huff completes a three-week stay in China after a successful time in the region, following up on last week’s victory in the TCR International Series with a fantastic weekend at the new Ningbo International Speedpark, where he leaves in serious title contention, though not quite the one he planned.

The Cambridge driver was on double-duty, racing in both the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC) with the Shanghai Volkswagen 333 Racing team, and in the WTCC with ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport in his Citroën C-Elysée.

This meant a very compact schedule, often running between garages to jump between the 2.0 litre turbocharged Volkswagen Lamando GTS, and the 1.6 turbo Citroën between practice, qualifying and the races.

In the CTCC, Huff claimed pole position with relative ease and went on to take victory in the first race on Saturday, despite having to serve a drive-through penalty as a problem with the clutch caused him to jump the start.

In the reversed grid second race on Sunday, which was held in extremely wet conditions, Huff drove through the field from 12th to third, and with the main championship contenders crashing out or suffering technical issues, the 37-year-old is now seventh in the standings, just 28 points behind overall leader David Zhu. This is despite competing in just two of the championship’s six races this season, with 90 points still to be won from the final two rounds.

In the WTCC, were looking good early on, with Huff fastest in the second practice session in wet conditions, and went on to qualify in the top five and was in a strong place in which to score points and challenge for the victory for the second (main) race.

Unfortunately, an incident with Tom Chilton on lap seven in the first race while fighting his way forward meant he was forced to retire. Huff was then unable to compete in the second race, which was red-flagged after just two laps due to heavy rainfall, but with half-points still awarded, he lost key ground in the championship.

Huff is still firmly in contention for the WTCC independents’ title, just four points behind Chilton, while the surprise of the weekend was to leave with a realistic chance of securing the Chinese championship title, despite only able to complete half the season.

Rob Huff said:

“It’s been a fantastic weekend in the China championship. To come away with a win despite having to serve a drive-through penalty was really satisfying. As soon as I left the pits I realised that the bite point of the clutch was just 10mm off the floor, and it was going to be impossible not to move before the start.

“The second race was also a great result, despite the really treacherous conditions where I couldn’t really see anything. I couldn’t go full throttle at any point else the car would just spin out.

“I’m now suddenly in contention for the CTCC title, which was unexpected but it’s a good takeaway after a very difficult weekend in the WTCC. We had a good car there, but I just missed out in qualifying as I think we had too much of a wet set-up on while things were just starting to dry out.

“My set-up was great in the first race and I very quickly passed Gabriele Tarquini and was closing on Tom Chilton, but he just went off the track at Turn 5 and then rejoined into the side of me and broke my suspension, and that was our day done. Hugely disappointing for me and for the team, who worked really hard to get me back out but ultimately there was too much damage.”

WTCC – China Race 1 
1. Esteban Guerrieri – Chevrolet – 15 Laps
2. Yann Ehrlacher – Lada – 2.893
3. Nicky Catsburg – Volvo – 11.671
4. Norbert Michelisz – Honda – 17.409
5. Gabriele Tarquini – Honda – 17.840
6. John Filippi – Citroën – 23.760
7. Kevin Gleason – Lada – 24.522
8. Daniel Nagy – Honda – 24.946
9. Ryo Michigami – Honda – 26.334
10. Filipe de Souza – Lada – 27.243
DNF. Rob Huff – Citroën – +9 laps

WTCC – China Race 2 (Red-flagged)

1. Néstor Girolami – Volvo – 2 Laps
2. Norbert Michelisz – Honda – 0.851
3. Thed Björk – Volvo – 2.537
4. Gabriele Tarquini – Honda – 3.347
5. Tom Chilton – Citroën – 4.562
6. Esteban Guerrieri – Chevrolet – 6.691
7. Nicky Catsburg – Volvo – 8.113
8. John Filippi – Citroën – 9.722
9. Ryo Michigami – Honda – 11.250
10. Kevin Gleason – Lada – 12.118
DNF. Rob Huff – Citroën – +1 lap

CTCC – Ningbo Race 1
1. Rob Huff – Volkswagen – 11 Laps
2. Dan Lloyd – Senova – 1.983
3. Juan Carlos Zhu – Senova – 9.121
4. Leo Yi Hong Li – Kia – 9.324
5. Rodolfo Avila – Volkswagen – 9.681
6. Jiang Tengyi – Volkswagen – 10.419
7. David Zhu – Senova – 12.822
8. Zheng Zhen Dong – Volkswagen – 13.531
9. Jason Zhang – Kia – 23.569
10. Andy Yan – Ford – 24.699

CTCC – Ningbo Race 2
1. Alex Fontana – Kia – 11 Laps
2. Dan Lloyd – Senova – 2.717
3. Rob Huff – Volkswagen – 12.717
4. Andy Yan – Ford – 15.205
5. Jason Zhang – Kia – 17.949
6. Rainey He – Ford – 23.488
7. Rodolfo Avila – Volkswagen – 24.014
8. Martin Cao – Ford – 41.818
9. Zhang Da Sheng – Ford – 52.115
10. Leo Yi Hong Li – Kia – 55.399

WTCC standings
1. Thed Björk – Volvo – 200.5
2. Tiago Monteiro – Honda – 200
3. Norbert Michelisz – Honda – 198.5
4. Nicky Catsburg – Volvo – 177.5
5. Mehdi Bennani – Citroën – 164
6. Tom Chilton – Citroën – 153.5
7. Esteban Guerrieri – Chevrolet – 143
8. Rob Huff – Citroën – 137
9. Néstor Girolami – Volvo – 88
10. Yann Ehrlacher – Lada – 63

CTCC standings
1. David Zhu – Senova – 102
2. Martin Cao – Ford – 98
3. Jiang Tengyi – Volkswagen – 95
4. Rodolfo Avila – Volkswagen – 80
5. Juan Carlos Zhu – Senova – 79
6. Jason Zhang – Kia – 76
7. Rob Huff – Volkswagen – 74
8. Zheng Zhen Dong – Volkswagen – 74
9. Rainey He – Ford – 67
10. Andy Yan – Ford – 64