Huff’s Lada adventure
Despite the disappointing results across his two seasons with the Lada factory team, Huff has been quick to thank the squad for its efforts.
The British ace secured both Lada’s first ever WTCC podium finish and also its first race wins with the Granta TC1 during his maiden campaign with the Russian team in 2014. The arrival of the new Vesta WTCC for 2015 promised a new start, but couldn’t deliver the same sort of results. However, Huff says the Vesta was more consistent and with a lot of potential.
“My time with Lada was particularly enjoyable and the team was great,” says Huff. “With the Granta we were very opportunistic and had some great moments because of that. It wasn’t the quickest car around, but we used the situations well to get results.
“It was always about aiming for that P9-10 slot in qualifying because that would get you the front row for the second race. We got a few chances that way and when they came along we took them.
“Scoring the first podium in Argentina was special, but the first win in Beijing was emotional. That track was so tight and twisty that overtaking was virtually impossible so I managed to start at the front and stay there.
“When it came to last year, if you look at the overall points we scored a lot more with the Vesta TC1, but not the marquee results. With the Granta we’d get one great finish and then be out of the points a lot. The Vesta was more consistently in the points and better to drive, but if anything perhaps it was made a little too fast to take advantage of the opportunities in the same way.
“It was quicker than the Granta, which meant qualifying fifth or sixth, meaning you started both races with the much quicker Citroens either ahead or immediately behind. That made the weekends tougher.”
Huff also had his troubles with the Vesta. He was fortunate to escape injury in a huge accident during testing at the Hungaroring when his suspension failed at 110mph. The car was then blighted with further teething issues.
“Things like that [suspension failure] don’t fill you with confidence and they stay in the back of your mind,” adds Huff. “Last year was a difficult season, but I still loved my time with the Lada team.”