Photo: WTCC Media

Rob Huff takes maiden win for Lada in Beijing

Rob Huff took Lada’s maiden win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the Beijing Goldenport circuit. The Brit never left the lead from pole position and came home ahead of ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel and Citroën Total WTCC’s Sébastien Loeb.

At the start Huff defended his lead from Tom Coronel, while James Thompson’s getaway was not as effective as the slipped down to fifth from third on the grid, overtaken by Loeb and Zengo Honda’s Norbert Michelisz.

Up front, Huff immediately started to open a gap, as Coronel defended from Loeb’s attacks. Race 1 winner Tom Chilton started making up places by passing both the Honda of Gabriele Tarquini and reigning champion Yvan Muller’s Citroën C-Elysée.

On lap 11, Championship leader José María López overtook James Thompson for fifth. López then overtook Michelisz and started closing the gap to his Citroën team-mate Loeb for third, with that fight going on until the last corner of the last lap, with José María López finishing just inches behind his team-mate.

Huff won the race ahead of Coronel and Loeb, with López just behind in fourth. Norbert Michelisz finished in fifth ahead of James Thompson, who had a fierce fight with Chevrolet duo of Gianni Morbidelli and Tom Chilton.

It was a difficult race for Yvan Muller, which saw the Citroën driver going no further than ninth, just ahead Tarquini.

Citroën’s Ma Qing Hua and Honda’s Tiago Monteiro made for an entertaining fight for the entire race, making it a Citroën-Honda duel which was won by the Chinese driver, even though the fight was just for 12th.

José María López extends his lead in the championship to 66 points, with Sébastien Loeb a further 45 points adrift, ahead of the next round of the Championship at Shanghai next week.