After taking his first pole position in qualifying at Oschersleben, Rob Huff stormed to a double podium finish in Germany in the latest rounds of the World Touring Car Championship.
Having been fastest at the circuit in pre-season testing, the 28-year old headed into the weekend in confident mood, aided by the fact that his Chevrolet Lacetti was carrying 36kgs of success ballast – almost half as much as the championship leader.
Despite being forced to lift on his fastest lap, Huff was able to take his place at the head of the field ahead of Gabriele Tarquini, with the SEAT diesel nearly two-tenths of a second behind.
“I had a fantastic car in qualifying and a perfect last qualifying lap, bar for turn ten where I had to lift for the yellows,” he said. “In the past we haven't always qualified well here, but we had a great test here earlier this year, so we knew we'd be competitive.
“That last lap was an all-or- nothing lap, since I was already on the first row anyway. I used every inch of tarmac available and was helped by the fact that the track got grippier and grippier by the end of the session.”
Huff made a good start in race one, but jump start by Tarquini and mayhem at the tight first corner marred his chances of victory. Nicola Larini who had been squeezed by Jordi Gene and Rickard Rydell spun and hit Huff as he went out at turn two. That ended Larini's race, but Huff recovered and chased after Tarquini.
He was able to overtake Tarquini before the end of the race and take the chequered flag in second position, behind Augusto Farfus. In race two, he started seventh on the reversed grid and managed to survive a hectic first lap which saw a number of drivers retire after a multi-car shunt at turn one.
He eventually finished third to claim another podium finish, after overtaking an extremely stubborn Jordi Gene before the finish line.
“I had a very difficult start in race one, as it always is here in Oschersleben,” he said. “It was quite unfair as Tarquini was already ahead of me coming into the last corner, while the lights were still quite red. It is normally the pole sitter who dictates the pace, not the second man on the grid.