Rob Huff puts on dominant display at Shanghai
British driver takes away the most points in the CTCC race
Rob Huff had a fantastic first weekend in Shanghai, his first outing of the 2019 China Touring Car Championship with the SAIC Volkswagen 333 Racing Team, taking pole position, a victory, and a podium finish.
Joining the SAIC Volkswagen 333 Racing team for the third consecutive year, Huff secured pole position for the main race on Sunday ahead of his two Volkswagen team-mates Rodolfo Avila and Zhang Zhen Dong, a perfect result for the 333 Racing outfit.
First, there was the matter of the reversed grid race on Saturday to get out of the way – and with the top nine reversed, this placed the World Touring Car star in the midfield.
The Briton shot through the order on lap one and was up sto third by the end of the opening lap. Huff soon dispatched the BAIC Senova of Darryl O’Young on the second lap for second, and then took the lead when he passed Juan Carlos Zhu at the hairpin on lap five, going on to win the race.
On Sunday, Huff got away brilliantly from pole position and led during the early stages. With team-mates Rodolfo Avila and Zhang Zhen Dong behind him, who are both competing in the full season, and with international wild card drivers prohibited from winning the championship, Huff dropped back behind and settled for the final spot on the podium in his Lamando GTS.
Huff's points haul means he now sits fourth in the drivers' rankings after one weekend, despite missing the first round - while it's mission accomplished for the team, with Zhang Zhen Dong leaving Shanghai with the lead of the drivers' championship.
Rob Huff said:
“I have to say thanks to the team and Volkswagen for giving me an amazing car. In Race 1, I think the others were sleeping a bit at the start and I was able to make up three or four places and then I just picked the others off.
“I didn’t expect to win when I got up to second place but when he (Zhu) went a bit wide at the hairpin it gave me a chance.
“In Race 2, well, I am here for the team not for myself. It’s a team game, and as I can’t win the championship there’s no point stopping my team-mates from scoring points if they’re with me on track, so we dropped back.
“It’s been a great first weekend and I can’t wait to be back with them later in the year.”
Qualifying 1 result
1 - Rob Huff - SAIC VW 333 Racing Lamando GTS - 2:13.725
2 - Rodolfo Avila - SAIC VW 333 Racing Lamando GTS - 0.071
3 - Zhang Zhen Dong - SAIC VW 333 Racing Lamando GTS - 0.099
4 - Cai Yue - Dongfeng Kia Racing K3 2.0T - 0.205
5 - David Zhu - Beijing Automobile Senova D50 - 0.303
Race 1 result
1 - Rob Huff - SAIC VW 333 Racing Lamando GTS - 7 laps
2 - Juan Carlos Zhu - Beijing Automobile Senova D50 - 1.425
3 - David Zhu - Beijing Automobile Senova D50 - 8.324
4 - Darryl O'Young - Beijing Automobile Senova D50 - 8.652
5 - Zhang Zhen Dong - SAIC VW 333 Racing Lamando GTS - 9.071
Race 2 result
1 - Rodolfo Avila- SAIC VW 333 Racing Lamando GTS - 10 laps
2 - Zhang Zhen Dong - SAIC VW 333 Racing Lamando GTS - 2.201
3 - Zhang Zhen Dong - SAIC VW 333 Racing Lamando GTS - 4.840
4 - Martin Cao - Dongfeng Kia Racing K3 2.0T - 7.224
5 - David Zhu - Beijing Automobile Senova D50 - 8.399