After today’s news that Chevrolet are withdrawing from the WTCC at the end of the 2012 season, last year’s runner-up Rob Huff, currently second in the standings behind team-mate Yvan Muller, is now even more motivated to win the drivers’ title for Chevrolet this year.
The Briton was informed today shortly before the US marque announced to the world their intention to leave the FIA World Touring Car Championship after eight years at the end of the current season, after winning both drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in 2010 and 2011 and are on target for a repeat this year.
“I was shocked when I got the phone call. I suppose I dreamt in my own little world that it will continue forever, but all good things must come to end,” said Huff to TouringCarTimes. “It’s obviously a real shame not only for myself but for everyone in the team; for RML and the other two drivers, and all the mechanics and engineers that are involved in the programme, because at the moment everyone’s out.”
Huff believes Chevrolet have handled the situation well however in giving RML the chance to sort something else out for 2013.
“The one very good thing that I think Chevrolet have done is that they’ve given us six months’ notice…I think that’s very good of them to give us a fair chance and opportunity, not just us as drivers but the mechanics and the team, to get a good chance and find themselves another major programme.”
“Most (manufacturers) in motorsport just announce at the last race meeting that they’re just clearing off. Chevrolet have been very good to us over the last eight years and they’ve been very good to us at a difficult time as well.”
On whether the priority now is to focus on what the Chevrolet driver will do next year, Rob explains that’s secondary to trying to win the championship in what will be his final season with the marque in the WTCC.
“The first and most important thing is to see this out in the proper way and make sure that we can continue to do the best job possible for Chevrolet. I want to do it in the best possible fashion by winning the Championship for them. I’m sure Yvan (Muller) and Alain (Menu) are thinking the same, and will be trying to do exactly the same, but I think it’s even more important for a driver when you’re trying to find yourself something else to have the World Champion of that current year next to your name.”
“It’s a tough time in motorsport at the moment, but there are opportunities coming up and all you can do is make yourself known to be available.”
Chevrolet drivers Alain Menu and Rob Huff have been with the manufacturer since the beginning in 2005, joined by Yvan Muller in 2010 with the Frenchman leaving SEAT just before the Spanish marque also announced its withdrawal from the WTCC. Now Huff finds himself in the unusual position of having to find a new drive for the 2013 season.
“It’s a position I’ve never been in before. I’ve been a professional driver for nine years, eight of those with Chevrolet and one year with SEAT, but all of those nine years with RML, so we’ll just have to wait and see what comes up. For me personally, the best thing that can happen is that RML find another manufacturer that wants to do big things and we’re all involved in it.”