Storming drives come to nothing for WTCC Champion Huff in Argentina

05/08/13 Race Archive 2013

Storming drives come to nothing for WTCC Champion Huff in Argentina

Storming drives through the field came to nothing for reigning Champion Rob Huff on the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s (WTCC) maiden visit to Argentina (3-4 August).

Huff targeted race wins and podium finishes on the WTCC’s first foray on Argentine soil, but suffered a tumultuous weekend blighted by mechanical maladies and contact.

The reigning Champion took his ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon to the 14th quickest time in qualifying, but was demoted to the back of the grid having taken on a new power unit after free practice.

Engine installation issues meant Huff could only clock up a single flying lap in qualifying, but the reigning World Champion was unfazed by a lack of seat time on the 4.8km long Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo.

Huff showed race-winning pace during Round 15 – the first ever WTCC race to be held in Argentina – and was relentless in his climb up the leaderboard.

A series of perfectly executed overtakes later and Huff was on the tail of the main pack. The 32-year old fought to the bitter end and completed a barnstorming drive by snatching eighth place from fellow countryman James Nash on the final lap.

From 14th on the grid in Round 16, Huff was once again head and shoulders above the rest. A gritty and determined drive up to the top ten places culminated in a fraught fight with Tiago Monteiro, Norbert Michelisz and James Thompson.

However, contact with Thompson’s LADA Sport Granta resigned a despondent Huff to the sidelines with broken steering – a gloomy end to a trying weekend in Argentina.

“What could go wrong did go wrong this weekend and I’m bitterly disappointed,” said Huff. “I really needed to take a couple of solid results away from Argentina to bolster my championship position, but I was on the backfoot from the outset of qualifying after the engine change. Having said that, the races were awesome and I got a real kick out of picking off the competition from the back of the grid – I passed 24 cars in the 17 racing laps I completed, but it was all about damage limitation and I had nothing to lose!

"The collision with James (Thompson) was unfortunate. I think more points were on the cards, but these things happen. It has harmed my championship position. Second is still a very real possibility and I’ll be using everything in my armoury to achieve that between now and the end of the season.”

Huff has fallen to fifth in the overall Drivers’ standings on 139 points with eight races remaining in the 2013 season.

The Sonoma Raceway in Southern California is the venue for Rounds 17 and 18 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) on 7-8 September.

For more information on Rob Huff's racing activities, please visit the official website, 'like' his Facebook page or follow @Huffsport on Twitter.