Rob Huff scored points in both race as the World Touring Car Championship took to the streets of Pau, with the Chevrolet man breaking into the top six in the championship standings as a result.
After his race win last time out in Valencia, Huff arrived in the historic French city carrying 48kgs of success ballast on his Lacetti which was expected to work against the Briton the tight and challenging circuit.
The two free practice sessions were run in treacherously wet conditions, while the afternoon's qualifying session took place on an unexpectedly dry track, which left the teams to make a last-minute u-turn with set-up. Huff seized the opportunity to use the difficult conditions to overcome some of his weight burden to set the best Chevrolet team time to post the sixth quickest time.
“It was a difficult day today,” he said. “I think it's been one of the hardest qualifying days we've had in a long time, but all's well that ends well. We kept on tweaking the car in qualifying after this morning's wet practice sessions and we got it right where we wanted. The crew did a fantastic job in fixing the car again after my off from this morning. So to qualify sixth with 48kgs of success ballast on board is quite pleasing.”
Race day on Sunday began dry and sunny, but the first race was red flagged on the opening lap after a multi-car pile up at the tight hairpin corner. On the restart, Huff went past Rickard Rydell and then overtook current points leader Gabriele Tarquini in a flawless drive to fourth position.
A thunderstorm and heavy rain flooded parts of the track and the paddock just minutes before the start of the second race, forcing the organisers to start the race behind the safety car. Many drivers had already fallen victim to the slippery conditions and crashed into the barriers during the race weekend, so Huff concentrated on keeping out of trouble and he took fifth place.
“I made up a place at the first start and after the restart all I had to do was to keep pushing Gabriele,” he said. “I noticed in the last few laps that he was locking up and braking early for turn two, so on the last lap I just went for it and passed him for fourth. The second race was just a matter of keeping the car on the black stuff and not making mistakes. It wasn't easy, as Gabriele's tail lights didn't work it was very difficult to judge the distance between the two cars and to see the braking points for the corners.”