NEWS

Rob Huff opens his WTCR account with a podium in Morocco

09/04/18 Race Results

Rob Huff opens his WTCR account with a podium in Morocco

MarrakechMarrakech - 07/04/18 Race 1: 3RD Race 2: DNF Race 3: 7TH

A podium and close racing for Huff's first race weekend of 2018

Rob Huff had a strong first weekend in the new FIA World Touring Car Cup in Marrakech, scoring a podium finish in the first race on Saturday in his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

The 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship drivers’ champion hit the ground running in qualifying at the Marrakech street circuit, putting his Sébastien Loeb Racing Golf fourth on the grid for the opening race of the weekend.

Huff then got the jump on his former team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay to move into third at the start, where he followed the two Hyundais of Gabriele Tarquini and Thed Björk closely throughout the race, waiting for an opportunity to pounce at the tight circuit, but no opportunity came and Rob had to settle for third.

On Sunday, Huff qualified sixth, missing out on the top five pole position shootout by just five-thousandths of a second with the times so close in the 25-car field.

From there, Huff made a good start and was fighting to keep Björk behind him before it became evident he was developing a puncture, with the tyre eventually blowing out on lap 15, just five laps from the end.

In the third and final race, Huff followed new team-mate Mehdi Bennani to the finish to claim seventh position in a race where it was again impossible to overtake.

The Briton leaves the circuit in good spirits after his first race meeting with his new team, Sébastien Loeb Racing, with the team now third in the teams’ standings, and Huff seventh in the drivers’ table, with the championship looking set to be one of the closest in years.

Rob Huff said:

“It’s been a great start to the championship. It was a very good first qualifying session and first race. I was a little unlucky today with a puncture, which we believe was due to debris, as it was a slow puncture and then exploded six laps later.

“There was a bit of a kerfuffle at the start of Race 3.  I had a good switchback as everyone went deep into Turn 1, but then I was side-by-side with my new team-mate into Turn 2, and at this point of the season there’s no point taking any risks and the last thing we’d want is two cars in the wall.

“After that, there wasn't much to do except follow everyone around. I was following very closely behind in both races, which is something we can do in these TCR cars. I was waiting for an opportunity to make a move, but sadly it never arose.

“It was a strong performance for us and the team at a circuit where we thought we’d struggle. Our pace was good, and now we’re third in the teams’ championship. It was good to get a podium on Saturday, and also good for my team-mate Mehdi (Bennani) to get a podium at his home race on Sunday. It was also a great event for the spectators and a fantastic first weekend for the championship."

 

Saturday qualifying result

1 - Thed Bjork - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 1:24.698
2 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 0.136
3 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 0.361
4 - Jean-Karl Vernay - Team WRT - Audi RS 3 LMS - 0.558
5 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 0.596

Saturday race result


1 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 20 Laps
2 - Thed Bjork - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 0.499
3 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 2.823
4 - Jean-Karl Vernay - Team WRT - Audi RS 3 LMS - 4.593
5 - Gordon Shedden - Team WRT - Audi RS 3 LMS - 5.702

Sunday qualifying result

1 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 1:24.316
2 - Yvan Muller - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 0.08
3 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 0.224
4 - Thed Bjork - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 0.337
5 - Yann Ehrlacher - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 0.471
6 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR 

Sunday reversed grid race result


1 - Jean-Karl Vernay - Team WRT - Audi RS 3 LMS - 20 Laps
2 - Mehdi Bennani - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR - 0.89
3 - Pepe Oriola - Campos Racing - Cupra TCR - 3.27
4 - Yann Ehrlacher - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 3.631
5 - Thed Bjork - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 6.57
DNF - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR 

Sunday final race result


1 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 23 laps
2 - Yvan Muller - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 2.524
3 - Thed Bjork - Yvan Muller Racing - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 2.922
4 - Yann Ehrlacher - Münnich Motorsport - Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR - 4.645
5 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai i30 N TCR - 5.937
7 - Rob Huff - Sébastien Loeb Racing - Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR  - 8.121