Rob Huff happy with Portugal performance
Cambridge driver makes up valuable ground afgter setback
Rob Huff has described the top-five finish at the World Touring Car Championship in Portugal as one of the best drives of his career.
The 37-year-old ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport qualified second on the grid for the main race on the streets of Vila Real.
After a sensational performance in the one-lap qualifying shootout, he was second behind Honda’s Norbert Michelisz, who was carrying 30kg less weight.
And the Cambridge driver had a strong run in the opening race on old tyres, going from ninth to sixth to take a good haul of points for the championship, and was looking forward to getting new tyres on his Citroen C-Elysee for the main race.
But a clutch issue at the start saw Huff drop from second to absolute last.
His attention turned to damage control in the championship, and there was no holding Huff back on the Vila Real circuit.
He was already back in the points by the end of lap three as he charged through the order – and using the ‘joker lap’ which was introduced because of how difficult it is deemed to be on the street circuit – he passed race one winner Mehdi Bennani on lap six.
By going past Tom Chilton, Huff earned fifth place overall and the independents’ class win to move into the lead of the independent drivers’ classification.
“Everyone says you can’t overtake on a street circuit, but I was able to pass not just cars that are slower than mine – some are the same as mine, some were perhaps faster,” said Huff.
“At the end, I’m a little disappointed as we could have had more. In race one, to come from ninth to finish sixth, I’m happy with that, but to go from last to fifth in race two, I think that was one of the best races I ever drove – if you don’t count the start.
“It’s a shame as the talk will all be about the joker lap this weekend – but I only passed three cars with the joker lap, the rest I did myself.
“At the end of today, they can’t say anymore that you can’t overtake on a street circuit!”
Huff is seventh in the overall standings with 127 points, 37 behind leader Tiago Monteiro with 60 points available at each race weekend.