After a win and a second place at the Salzburgring, Rob Huff has gone from third to second in the 2012 WTCC standings, and is just eight points away from Yvan Muller at the mid-season mark.
Huff converted his first pole of the year into a race victory in race one, though it wasn’t a runaway victory with team-mates Yvan Muller and Alain Menu ready to pounce at any point to take the victory as the three Chevrolets pulled away in the first race.
“It was so difficult in race one defending to Yvan, going up the back straight giving the slipstream away,” said Huff. “I think at some points he was 10km/h faster than me and more than three-quarters of the way past me on the outside, but that gave me the inside for Turn 9.”
“Probably one of the hardest races of my life, looking more in the mirrors than looking forward, but a great result especially for the team.”
In race two, starting from tenth on the grid, Huff managed to pass Alain Menu, who admitted he’d made a terrible start after the race, and follow Yvan Muller through the field, moving into second place on lap five as he passed Tom Coronel’s ROAL Motorsport BMW.
With Menu suffering a puncture late in the race, the two other RML-Chevrolet drivers backed off to try and conserve their tyres, but their efforts were in vain, with Muller suffering a puncture on the final lap and Huff following on the next corner, though Huff briefly took the lead of the race, he was passed by Stefano D’Aste around the outside but was able to crawl across the line in second place, with Muller finishing eighth.
“,I’ve got to be pleased that I took second place,” said Huff. “I got a puncture the corner after Yvan did. Unfortunately for Tom (Coronel) he chose the wrong side to go, as I had a front-left puncture so the car wouldn’t turn to the right. It was OK through the left, but as I turned to the right I just understeered wide and unfortunately took Tom with me and Stefano had gambled well and took the right line and got his first win, so congratulations to him.”
Yvan Muller still leads the Championship standings as he has all year, but the gap is now just eight points to Rob Huff with Alain Menu just 31 points behind, with 55 available per race meeting.
Chevrolet continue to pull away in the manufacturers’ standings, now on 495 points, whilst BMW and SEAT battle over second place, with BMW pulling away slightly this weekend now on 338 to SEAT’s 313.
WTCC Drivers’ Standings after Austria