Rob Huff marks opening to China Touring Car Championship campaign with victory
Cambridge driver on form in Far East
Rob Huff had a winning start to his 2017 China Touring Car Championship season.
The Cambridge driver has been signed to race for the Shanhai VW333 Racing team as part of an initative that allows teams to field international stars for four rounds of their eight-event calendar.
After earning pole in the Volkswagen Lamando GTS at the Shanghai International Circuit, Huff took an unchallenged victory by almost seven seconds in race one.
With a reverse grid for race two, Huff started in 12th place and after a technical issue because of the heat, he scythed his way through the field to go from 19th place to finish fifth in the shortened eight-lap race.
Huff said: “The car was awesome all weekend. I did three days testing at Guangdong a month ago, which has really paid off.
“I think race one was every racing driver’s dream, as we made a great start and then just didn’t see anyone for the entire race. I just paced it nicely and tried to feel the balance for race two.
“We tweaked the car a bit for race two to try and dial down the understeer, as it’s so hot out here. I then made a good start and jumped three or four places, but then it was red-flagged before the end of the first lap and we had to go back to our original positions.
“On the second warm up lap, the power steering wasn’t working. I reset everything about three or four times, but nothing happened, so I said to the team we’ll have to come in, and just as I came into the pits, typically the power steering then suddenly came into action and it was fine from thereon in.
“I started from the pit lane, therefore last. I had a bit of contact with one of the Fords on the second lap. My team-mate Zheng and one of the Fords were side-by-side going into the last corner and both got caught up and couldn’t turn in.
“The Ford came back and hit me, and that bent my front-left a little bit, so the car wasn’t quite the same after that – and that also put the Ford out and brought out the safety car.
“To come back after that and finish fifth was great, and just over four seconds off the lead.”
He added: It’s been a good, solid first weekend with some nice silverware, and I’m really looking forward to the next one in Wuhan.”