Rob Huff is celebrating after delivering LADA its long-awaited first podium in the World Touring Car Championship with an against-the-formbook run to second place at the Termas de Rio Hondo.
Though LADA has shown flashes of pace since making its series debut back in 2008, it had never finished higher than fifth place in that time, while the manufacturer has particularly struggled to make the Granta competitive under the new TC1 regulations.
However, the car would prove stronger-than-expected in Argentina, with Huff doing much of his hard work on the Saturday to qualify tenth for race one, thus guaranteeing himself pole position for race two.
Finishing a season's-best seventh in race one, Huff made full use of his prime position on the grid for race two, powering into an early lead and even extending it to more than two seconds at one stage as he dismissed the better fancied Hondas behind him.
Though the charge of Jose Maria Lopez in the superior Citroen scuppered any hopes of a fairytale win, Huff was still a comfortable second place across the finish line, recording a landmark podium for the Russian manufacturer.
“I am absolutely delighted with this result. We could have won, but I knew how much this second place would mean for the team, so I made sure we got it. Honestly, I enjoyed the podium as much as any I have had before and it was so nice to celebrate with the team who earned this result through tireless effort and dedication.”
LADA has already committed itself for the future by announcing the road-going variant of its new racing contender – the Vesta – has been built with WTCC regulations in mind.