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Q&A: Rob Huff – EXCLUSIVE.

Rob Huff enjoyed a breakthrough second season in the World Touring Car Championship as he bounced back from a huge accident in Mexico to take his maiden win in the next meeting at Brno.

Huff's win was one of the highlights for the Chevrolet team who continued to make progress with the Lacetti and the RML run outfit will hope to build on its displays into 2007.

Crash.net spoke to Huff to quickly look back to last season and look to the year ahead…

Q:
First of all Rob, a quick look back at 2006 and your second season in the WTCC. I suppose it would be a stupid question to ask you what the highlight was…

Rob Huff:
For sure Brno was a great weekend for me, qualifying fourth to start with before it went a little sour and I dropped back to 24th on the grid. There was a problem with the engine being cracked in Mexico so I lost ten places for that and then I did the fastest lap under a yellow flag in qualifying which dropped me another ten places. I went from 24th to eighth in the first race to be on pole for race two and then I held off Andy Priaulx all the way to the line in the race.

Q:
And winning at Brno was a nice comeback from what had happened in Mexico a few weeks earlier.

Rob Huff:
Exactly, going from getting a helicopter to hospital one weekend to being on the top of the podium in the next one! It was a great to zero to the front story really. It was an up and down season which sums up the last two years, but we have been working hard on the car over the winter and doing a lot of testing and we feel that the car is much improved for this year.

Q:
That Brno victory was your first since switching to the WTCC. How important was it to get that first win under the belt?

Rob Huff:
It was massively important, not only to secure my place in the team and prove that I was the right choice for the seat, but also for my own benefit as it had been a year and a half since I'd won a race. In 2004 I had got used to the British Touring Car Championship with SEAT, had two wins there and by the end of the year was scoring as many points as anyone but to go from the big fish in the little pond to the little fish in the big pond was quite a difference. We sorted things out though and came back last year with a win and hopefully there will be many more to come.

Q:
It was the second win for the team after Alain [Menu] won in the wet at Brands Hatch. How much of a lift did those wins give the team, did it change the atmosphere around the whole squad?

Rob Huff:
The guys at RML have worked so hard towards the goal of a win and Alain getting his at Brands Hatch was a big lift and well deserved for the team. To confirm their win had paid off later in the year with my win at Brno, and with Nicola's podiums in Turkey and Valencia, showed what their work was all about. If their car wins, they are made up for the year and we paid them back. They work so hard and to give them those podiums was great for us drivers.

Q:
How much was the Lacetti improved in its second season?

Rob Huff:
We made big steps forwards. The big step in the first year was the engine waiver that the FIA gave us, they gave us a good boost up the order, but we realised quickly after the first few races in 2005 that it was a massively competitive series and we were up against the best of the best in the sport. We knew we had to raise our game straight away and that showed, thus the podiums came last year. It is one of the most competitive race series in the world I believe and in qualifying you often get the top 15 covered by a second – your rarely get that outside of a one-make championship.

Q:
What changes have been made to the car for 2007?

Rob Huff:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rob Huff - Chevrolet [Pic: FIA WTCC]
Rob Huff - Chevrolet Lacetti
Rob Huff wins [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Rob Huff - LADA Sport [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Rob Huff - LADA Granta WTCC [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Tom Coronel - ROAL Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Rene Munnich - ALL-INKL Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Rene Munnich - ALL-INKL Munnich Chevrolet [credit: FIA WTCC]
Hugo Valente - Campos Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Hugo Valente - Campos Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Rob Huff - LADA Granta TC1 [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Tom Coronel - ROAL Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Rob Huff - LadaSport Lukoil Granta
Gianni Morbidelli - ALL-INKL Chevrolet Cruze [credit: FIA WTCC]
Rob Huff - LADA Granta TC1 [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Tom Coronel - ROAL Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Tom Chilton - ROAL Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Tom Coronel - ROAL Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]

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