Rob Huff earns 10th win on the streets of Macau
Rob Huff has clinched a record-breaking 10th victory around the streets of Macau.
The 40-year-old Cambridge-based driver was taking part in the Macau Grand Prix for the MG 6 XPOWER TCR team, and negotiated a weekend of incident-heavy races to make it 10 of the best.
Having undergone a two-week isolation in a hotel in order to compete in the standalone race, he produced a final flying lap to earn pole position in qualifying by 1.9sec from former World Touring car rival Ma Qing Hua – it was also Huff’s 10th pole position round the famous street circuit.
After losing his lead to Ma off the start of the qualification race, Huff dived back down the inside of the Chinese driver on the way into the 90-degree right-hander at Lisboa to hold him off for the remainder of a race that was largely run behind the safety car because of various accidents further down the order.
Huff’s victory not only brought up his 10th success on the Guia circuit – a run which started in 2008 and puts him one clear of motorcycle legend Michael Rutter on all-time race wins – but also helped MG XPOWER to win the TCR China teams’ championship.
In race two, Huff again dropped behind Ma at the start, but had a good run at his rival going into the Mandarin bend, but the Chinese driver appeared to lose speed into the corner and was lightly tagged by Huff in his slipstream, spinning Ma into the barriers which brought out the red flag.
Huff pulled away again after a 40-minute delay but the race was soon red-flagged and abandoned after another incident at Mandarin. The Brit was classed as the winner, but officials confirmed he would receive a 30-second penalty for the earlier incident, dropping him to 23rd.
However, the points for MG helped secure the MG 6 XPOWER TCR the models’ title in the TCR championship.
“I’m really happy with our weekend and to win 10 races in Macau and to add to our tally has been something we’ve been chasing for a few years now,” said Huff.
“There’s been a lot of pressure on me this weekend with a lot of expectations. To go through the 14-day quarantine, and then to achieve this win is a great result and really rewards the effort everyone has made.
“In the races, we knew the MG doesn’t have as good a launch system as the Lynk & Co, so we lost out to Ma (Qing Hua) in both races at the starts, but in race one, I was able to get back past him before Lisboa.
“In race two he didn’t make it so easy, and I had to follow him around the lap. Then on the second lap I had a good run on him into turn two, and he saw me coming and seemed to slide and to slow. I tried to move my car, but at 220km/h, the car was already quite unstable.
“Unfortunately, we were found guilty of ‘avoidable contact’, and given a 30-second penalty, which of course in a race which ended under a red flag, means we drop to pretty much last.
“I don’t think there’s anything I could have done to avoid it – and the accident was in no way intentional – but I’m glad the driver’s OK.
“It’s been great to be here in Macau and claim my 10th race win around the Guia circuit, and achieve MG XPOWER’s goals of winning both the teams’ championship, and the models’ championship.”
Huff’s 10th Macau win concludes a season in which he also became the first Brit to win the STCC TCR Scandinavia Championship.