Rob Huff has lucky escape in FIA World Touring Car Cup at Vila Real

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 June 2018

Cambridge driver sees car wrecked at Portugal circuit

Rob Huff walked away uninjured from a high-speed crash in the FIA World Touring Car Cup at Vila Real.

The 38-year-old Cambridge-based driver had a good qualifying session, taking pole position on the Portugal street circuit ahead of Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen team-mate Mehdi Bennani.

He made a good start to the race, but at the second corner, the two drivers bumped wheels, causing them to spin off into the barriers.

Huff’s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR ripped into the barriers, destroying the front with the engine separated from the chassis.

Bennani’s car launched over the top and back down, with the chasing pack slamming into the two Volkswagens which were blocking the circuit

It led to a two-hour suspension of the race, and the team had to withdraw from the remainder of the race weekend.

“I feel sorry for the team, as this should have been a sensational weekend for us,” said Huff. “The Golf GTI TCR was absolutely amazing around this track. The car was quick, Mehdi was quick and there with us, but it’s just one of those things.

“We’ve just got to put this weekend behind us and look forward now to the next race in Slovakia. The cars were completely destroyed, so we have two new cars coming for the next round, but that means a lot more work for the guys to get them ready, so I’ll do my best to make sure to repay them for their hard work at the next race.

“I’d like to say a huge thanks to Gabriele Tarquini. I was very winded after the crash and couldn’t get out of my car, and with the engine oil spilling it was on fire, and he quickly came over and helped me get out of the car and stayed with me in the few minutes before the medical teams arrived.

“Also thanks to Yvan Muller, who also came to help out; it just shows that even though we’re all rivals on the track, there’s a great camaraderie between us all.

“I also want to say a thanks to all the fans out there. The number of messages of support have been overwhelming, and it’s been very humbling to know there are so many people who are looking out for me.”

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