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Jun 21, 2014 - 03:22 PM
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Huff Flat Out In Belgium As WTCC Returns To Spa-Francorchamps
Posted by: newsla on Jun 21, 2014 - 03:20 PM
Sports Cars
Huff Flat Out In Belgium As WTCC Returns To Spa-Francorchamps

Rob Huff will lead the LADA Sport LUKOIL charge after qualifying 13th at the globally renowned Spa-Francorchamps in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).


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During Saturday morning’s two Free Practice sessions, Huff was able to extract the very best from his LADA Granta Sport TC1 to go fourth quickest through sector 1, which encompasses the iconic Eau Rogue.

During the first of three qualifying knockout sessions, the 2012 Champion continued to push his Granta to the very limit through the Ardennes Forest and on his first run was able to record an impressive time of 2m27.5s to go ninth quickest, ahead of teammates James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy who went tenth and 12th fastest respectively.

With ten minutes remaining, the three LADA drivers headed back out onto the track in an attempt to position themselves inside the top 12 and a place within the second knockout stage.

Spa-Francorchamps’s long straights and long, fast corners expose any aerodynamic deficiencies, which would be the Granta’s achilles heel, losing an average of 10kmh on the straights.

But despite losing time on the straights, all three LADA drivers noted a considerable improvement with the car’s stability during the twisty sectors of the circuit as Huff improved by half a second on his previous best. But due to a late flurry of fast laps from the rest of the field, Huff was demoted to 13th overall and narrowly missing out on a position in the second knockout stage.

The Newmarket-domiciled driver can take many positives away from the day’s action as he lines-up for tomorrow’s race ahead of four other TC1 cars, including Citroën Total WTCC’s Ma Qing Hua and Chevrolet’s Rene Munnich.

“I think I did a perfect lap as the car does not have any more to give. We were down on straight-line speed here, and on a circuit where straight-line speed is pivotal to challenge at the front, we had no chance to improve from where we finished.

“But the car actually has a good balance and handling has improved, so we’ll have to see what tomorrow brings.”

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