Rob Huff earns race win at FIA World Touring Car Cup in Japan
Cambridge driver in the points at Suzuka
Rob Huff earned a place on the top step of the podium in the FIA World Touring Car Cup race weekend at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan.
The 38-year-old Cambridge-based driver qualified the Sébastien Loeb Racing-run Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR in 15th place for the first race, but finished 23rd.
Some good work from the team’s engineers turned the car around and they topped the second qualifying session.
On his second run, he was ninth, but that gave him second on the reversed grid second race, and he turned that to his advantage to take victory.
In the third and final race, Huff’s battle to get past Esteban Guerrieri, Norbert Michelisz and Yvan Muller saw him take sixth spot, having lost touch with the leading pack.
“We’ve struggled with some really rotten luck in the last four weekends, where I’ve not been where I wanted,” said Huff. “It started with the crash in Portugal, but it’s been great to come here to a circuit I know and love and have had podiums before and win.
“I spent a lot of time with my engineers trying to see what I could do, and then in the second qualifying session we were immediately up to P4, we’d instantly gained eight-tenths of a second.
“The car was better, more stable, and then we got to Q2, but with this length of circuit you only get one lap in that, and I made a mistake at the hairpin and went a little bit wide, which put us in ninth but gave us second place for the reversed grid race two.
“We really nailed our start and that was thanks to my engineers and all of us working and getting a better understanding of how to use the car at the start.
“After that, it was just a case of getting my head down and making a couple of good laps and looking after the tyres.”
He added: “I’m very happy to come away with the 35 points we scored this weekend, and I think we learned a lot about the car this weekend which can help us certainly in the future and next year as well.”