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Huff left to wonder
22 June 2009
Rob Huff was left to reflect on what might have been at Brno after an incident in the opening race kept all three Chevrolet drivers out of the points in the Czech Republic.
The Briton was hampered by a severe tyre vibration during qualifying which left him 14th on the grid but he made a good start when the lights went out for race one to make up places on the outside into turn one.
Unfortunately for Huff, his start was a little too good as it left him with nowhere to go when Augusto Farfus triggered a multi-car accident going into the first turn – with Huff one of a number of drivers forced to retire.
With his car repaired for race two, Huff was able to take the start from the rear of the field but with overtaking proving to be difficult, he had to settle for twelfth place and a second pointless weekend in a row after he also failed to break into the points at Valencia.
“We went to Brno with an open mind,” Huff reflected. “We thought it might be difficult for us because of the compensation weight and because we haven't run the Cruze there before and have no data – but we won at Marrakech and in Pau and we hadn't been there before with the car either.
“We did a lot of work to improve the car during the two free practice sessions, but on my first run with new tyres, the car felt very stiff and I had a lot of understeer. We then changed the set-up and things improved a lot, but unfortunately my quickest lap was ruined during the final sector by some bad tyre vibrations, which hampered my lap time. Otherwise, I think we would have had all three cars in the top ten.
“The formation lap of race one was a little bit awkward, with a lot of drivers accelerating and braking. Still, I managed to get a great start and move closer to the top positions by the first braking point, at which I just got hit by Nicola [Larini] when [Argusto] Farfus pushed him across the track and into my path. I got tagged really hard and spun into the gravel trap at the end of the straight.
“When that happens at the start of race one, your only hope is that the car can be repaired and you can start race two. Starting from the back of the grid, scoring points is out of the question – but it's a good opportunity to gather some race data for the future. And that's exactly what happened. The boys did an excellent job to repair the car on time and I raced as hard as I could.”
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