Rob Huff is now the leader of the opposition heading into the final two rounds of the World Touring Car Championship although the margin to leader Yvan Muller increased at Monza.
As Chevrolet's sole focus for the remainder of the season, Huff battled valiantly with his heavy Lacetti, loaded with maximum success ballast following his strong run of form, in qualify to secure ninth on the grid.
Managing to get a good start, although Huff was pushed sideways in the frantic run down to the first corner, a little bit of help from his team-mate Nicola Larini at the end was enough to see him finish sixth.
“I had a really good start and caught a lot of guys asleep. Then I got hit from behind in the first chicane, but luckily managed to catch the car out of a half-spin. Fortunately for me Farfus had a problem which put me in eighth.
“Then just before the finish line both Nic and Gené had slowed, so I couldn't help but pass the SEAT and finish seventh. All in all, the car handled a lot better now than it did in qualifying.
Starting third for the second race, Huff was given a heavy shove in the early stages that bent his steering and prevented him from challenging SEAT's dominance at the front of the field. Eventually a puncture with two laps remaining would sideline him.
It all means Huff has fallen 21 points behind Muller in the fight for the title with only 40 points remaining. On the plus side, Huff has moved ahead of Rickard Rydell into third place overall.
“At the start of race two someone gave me a right big push up the rear end, which bent my steering so badly that I had to turn right on the straights, and was left with almost no right turn at all in the corners.
“I soldiered on as well as I could, but two laps from the end I had a puncture and that was it. So, we've again moved up a place in the championship, although at the same time the gap to the leaders has widened.”