Race Archive 2014
Rob Huff plays his cards right to achieve record seventh win in Macau
Britain’s Rob Huff achieved a record seventh win on the streets of Macau, wrestling his LADA Sport Granta to the top step of the podium in dramatic scenes during the final round of the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in the gambling centre of Asia (16 November).
The former World Champion held position in eighth as the field streaked away from the start in Round 23, and remained a threat to ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel during the opening tours of the narrow Far Eastern street circuit.
However, Huff was forced to go defensive as Ma Qing Hua mounted a challenge, but ultimately had no answer to the Chinese racer, with a notable straight-line speed deficiency in the ultra-high speed first sector leaving him vulnerable.
Falling to ninth on lap three, Huff continued to pressurise Ma while embroiled in a tussle with Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani, and was happy to emerge from the first ten-lap race with points and completely unscathed, aware that he had a realistic shot at another podium finish from third on the Round 24 grid.
Huff was baulked behind the slow-starting Chevrolets of Tom Chilton and Hugo Valente off the line. However, the Iconic Bet-backed racer emerged from Lisboa in second, underneath the rear wing of Tiago Monteiro’s Honda Civic, concerned with defending against the third-placed Citroen of Yvan Muller.
The Newmarket-based driver exploited the grip from his fresh Yokohama tyres and his sprightly LADA Granta Sport’s agility through the narrow second and third sectors to see off the Frenchman and, despite a late Safely Car intervention, continued a valiant defensive drive during a tense two-lap sprint to the chequered flag.
He took the initiative from an ailing Monteiro on the penultimate lap and stood firm against a hard-charging Muller, setting a new lap record on his way to achieving an unprecedented seventh outright victory on the streets of Macau and give a jubilant LADA Sport team its second-ever WTCC race win.
"To tell the truth, I came to Macau with a great desire to win and it's fantastic to achieve my seventh victory in Macau with LADA Sport," said Huff. "I am so proud of the entire team – all engineers and mechanics. It has been such a tough season for us and there's no better reward than to stand atop the podium at the final race. My LADA Granta Sport was just flying – I set the fastest lap here in Macau – and achieved the team's second win and its third podium of the year. We achieved brilliant results in 2014 and, believe me, there will be even more wins next season with the new LADA Vesta!"
For more on Rob Huff's racing activities, please visit the official www.robhuff.com website, 'like' his Facebook page or follow @HuffSport on Twitter.