Huff’s Lada ad­ven­ture

Motor Sport News - - Rob Huff’s Honda Move -

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.”

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