Lada’s Rob Huff scores a record seventh win at Macau
Lada Sport’s Rob Huff scored a second win for the Russian manufacturer in the final FIA World Touring Car Championship race at Macau, finishing ahead of former Chevrolet team-mate Yvan Muller, capitalising on a mechanical issue for Honda’s Tiago Monteiro in the closing stages of a dramatic race.
Tiago Monteiro had a great start from fourth on the grid in his Honda Civic and launched ahead of Rob Huff’s Lada and the two Chevrolets of Tom Chilton and Hugo Valente to lead into the first corner. Valente fell to second while Huff also moved up to third place.
Valente went wide into Lisboa and lost three spots, promoting Huff to second and Yvan Muller to third in the Citroën, with Norbert Michelisz now fourth in the Zengõ Honda.
Huff kept close to Monteiro throughout the first lap and tried to pass the Portuguese driver into Lisboa, but had to cover the exit to fend off the Citroën of Yvan Muller. From then on, Monteiro began to build a slight lead as Muller continued to challenge Rob Huff’s Lada for second.
Gianni Morbidelli was the first of two drivers to crash out at Fisherman’s Bend, spinning into the barriers on lap four in his Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze, but was recovered under yellow flags.
In the meantime, the Citroëns of Sébastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua were pushing forward, with López having passed Tom Chilton’s Chevrolet for sixth on lap two and was stuck behind Hugo Valente’s Campos Chevrolet.
Ma had just passed Tom Coronel’s ROAL Chevrolet for ninth when he went hard into the wall at Fishermen’s Bend at the end of lap seven, bringing out the safety car.
At the restart, Monteiro was still able to keep Huff at bay for the lead, while Valente made a dive on Michelisz’s Honda for fourth at Lisboa, and was able to pass the Hungarian on the way up the hill, who now looked set to lose his fourth place in the standings back to Monteiro.
On the penultimate lap there was drama, as Tiago Monteiro’s Honda began to slow, with Rob Huff elevated to the lead ahead of Yvan Muller. Muller made one more attempt to pass at Lisboa, but Huff held on and went on to take a record breaking seventh victory at the Guia circuit, and the second for Lada Sport in the championship.
Hugo Valente was elevated to the final spot on the podium thanks to Monteiro’s problem, with Michelisz and López finishing fourth and fifth.
Sébastien Loeb was sixth for Citroën, with the ROAL Chevrolet of Tom Chilton and Tom Coronel seventh and eighth. James Thompson also scored points for Lada with ninth, while Franz Engstler finished in the overall points as well as winning the TC2T class again in his final race in the WTCC.