Win Draws Huff Level In Championship Battle
Rob Huff’s FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) title ambitions received a major boost during a strong weekend for the Cambridgeshire racer when the series travelled to the Sonoma Raceway, USA, for rounds 17 and 18 on 23 September 2012.
Huff secured a win and a second-place finish across the two races, leaving him and reigning WTCC champion Yvan Muller tied on 315 points with only six races of the 2012 season remaining.
Huff secured two points in qualifying courtesy of his fourth position on the grid. The 2011 WTCC runner-up lapped the 12-turn, 2.5-mile circuit in 1:45.572, only three tenths of a second off Alain Menu’s pole time.
Lining up on the second row for the first race’s rolling start, Huff was ideally placed to take advantage when Menu and Gabriele Tarquini made contact in turn one, causing the SEAT driver to fall behind the Brit’s Chevolet Cruze. Huff then followed Muller as they passed team-mate and race leader Menu on lap four. Huff attacked Muller for the remainder of the 23-minute encounter, but was unable to progress further, finishing in second and securing his weekend’s first visit to the podium.
Starting seventh on the grid, Huff produced a breathtaking overtaking display to claim victory in race two and take full advantage of title rival Muller’s 14th place finish. Despite a safety car period and a late charge from the BMW of Norbert Michelisz, Huff defended his lead successfully to secure his fourth win of the season.
“I’ve been striving to maintain my consistency and this weekend’s results are a fantastic reward for my hard work,” said Huff. “With Yvan and myself now tied on points and the calendar taking us to tracks where I have previously performed well, I am hopeful that I can go one better than last year and take the Drivers’ Championship crown.”
The next rounds of the WTCC will take place at Suzuka, Japan, on 21 October 2012.