Rob Huff wins the title in thrilling finale!
Ring Knutstorp - 09/10/20
Race 1: 1st
Race 2: 2nd
Race 3: 1st
Rob Huff has won the 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia drivers' title after a thrilling three-race finale, claiming two victories, and becoming the first Briton not only to win the championship, but even a race in Sweden - and also becomes the first non-Scandinavian driver to win the title since 2002.
In qualifying, Huff planted the Lestrup Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR second and fourth for the first two races in a closely-fought session, while last year's champion Robert Dahlgren had placed his Cupra on pole and would clearly be a strong threat on race day.
The rain came on Saturday morning, with Huff capitalising by making his best start of the year, at least at that point, to launch into the lead ahead of Dahlgren into Turn 1 and drive off into the distance to win the race by over ten seconds - and assumed the lead of the championship, by just three points.
Starting fourth on the grid for Race 2, Huff made up one spot at the start and avoided the melee behind him, which saw the safety car brought out for three laps.
At the restart, he quickly picked off the previous points leader Tobias Brink's Audi, and then settled to a rhythm to finish second, unable to close on Dahlgren's Cupra, which was handling much better in the drier conditions.
This meant going into the final race of the day, Dahlgren and Huff were both tied for the lead of the championship.
With the top eight reversed for Race 3, Huff started from seventh on the grid, but then pulled out another stormer of a start to launch to fourth position, passing his title rival Brink, and then picked off the Audi and the Cupra of Hannes Morin and Daniel Haglöf who were too involved in their own fight on lap seven.
Huff then passed race leader Kevin Engman to take his second win of the day/season - but more importantly, by easily outscoring his rivals, secured the drivers' title in his first season, as well as the first teams' title for Lestrup Racing Team.
The title is the first championship accolade for Huff since he won the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2012.
Rob Huff said:
“I have to say a big thanks to Lestrup Racing Team , without these guys and girls, this would not been possible.
"What a day! I also want to say thanks to everyone at home, thanks so much for your support.
"In Race 1, we just got a really good start. We've worked really hard on the set-up, and the car was perfect - I wish we could have races like that all the time.
"On every lap, the track was changing as it dried out. I still knew I had to build a gap to Dahlgren, and couldn’t take it easy.
"In the second race, I had another fantastic start. If there was enough track there I could have jumped them all, but I couldn't - I decided to go left, Brink put me slightly on grass and that put me down to P5, but was able to brake a bit late and got back to P3 and stayed there.
"And then Race 3 - that was mental. What a race. I had a good start, no one really got involved with us, and I just put the car where it needed to be.
"With these guys, we can do anything. It’s just brilliant, We’re going to have a pretty good party tonight. It’d be rude not to. It’s been a tough year."
Photo: Ring Knutstorp