Rob Huff was left feeling frustrated following the opening round of the 2009 World Touring Car Championship, but was nonetheless pleased with the performance of his new Chevrolet machine.
Huff, together with team-mates Nicola Larini and Alain Menu, gave the new Cruze saloon its race debut in Brazil, with all three drivers showing pace that put them on the cusp of arch-rivals SEAT and BMW.
However, a variety of problems conspired against the team throughout the weekend, not least Huff when he had his hopes of qualifying inside the top ten scuppered by Sergio Hernandez, who blocked him on his fastest lap.
Starting 13th, Huff made swift progress up the classification to be sitting inside the points when the throttle cable broke and forced him into retirement.
With rain to contend with in the second race as he valiantly attempted to make up ground, Huff would eventually come away from the opening round of the season with no points to show for.
“It must be written somewhere that Curitiba is jinxed for us,” he said. “In Race one, I managed to avoid trouble in the initial laps and was aiming at some points, when the throttle cable broke and that was my race over. In Race 2, starting from the back and with a wet track, we worked hard to move forward and made the best progress possible.”
Nonetheless Huff was otherwise pleased with the performance of the Cruze, pointing out that the car had good speed in Brazil, if not the points to show for it.
“It's been a bit of a frustrating start to the season. We could have got into the shoot-out in qualifying had I not been held up on my best flying lap, and then in the first race we were heading for a points-scoring finish when we stopped.
“On its WTCC race debut, the Chevrolet Cruze has shown a lot of potential and the whole team is really encouraged by its early speed and performance.”