WTCC » 18 May 2009
Huff thrilled with double podium
Having opened his win account for the 2009 World Touring Car Championship season in Morocco, Rob Huff was able to celebrate more success at the series return to Europe for the event on the streets of Pau.
Huff had qualified in fifth place, but a raft of penalties following qualifying saw the Briton start the opening race of the weekend from the second row of the grid at the wheel of his Chevrolet Cruze.
Huff was quickly able to get up to second place and then took the lead when Augusto Farfus ran wide on oil; holding off the Brazilian for the remainder of the race for a hard-fought victory.
After race two was suspended for a lengthy period for an accident involving Franz Engstler and the Safety Car, Huff found himself in third place and was again forced to defend for the entire race to keep a BMW – this time in the hands of Andy Priaulx – behind before he secured third.
“What an incredible weekend!” he said. “I am really, really very happy, especially for the team, which has done such a good job.
“In race one, I had a very good start and was right behind Farfus who was leading. On lap two, when we arrived at turn two and he lost his line because of some oil on the track, which wasn't there the lap before, and went a little wide. I took the opportunity to pass him and then it was a matter of holding on, which I managed to do, but those were certainly the longest 17 laps in my career!
“In race two, I had to do a similar job, this time with Priaulx behind me and I was happy to keep third. With these results, the championship is now looking much better for me.”
With Alain Menu going on to win the second race of the weekend, the new Cruze has now won four successive races, with team boss Mark Busfield admitting he was thrilled with the performance.
“This weekend is a magnificent result and true testimony to the team's hard work,” he said. “After Marrakech we knew it would be tough job to keep the momentum, but the whole team has worked tirelessly over the last two weeks to ensure we did everything to stay at the front.
“We have now a lot of data from races for the new car, and gaining valuable set up information. The Cruze seems to be as good on street tracks as it predecessor. The championship is now warming up a bit and with BMW also having a good points weekend, we have both closed the gap on the current leaders.”
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