Huff reflects upon ‘difficult year’ as he looks for improvements in 2016

Huff is refocusing after ending the WTCC series in Qatar.
Huff is refocusing after ending the WTCC series in Qatar.

Rob Huff insists he totally focused on a successful 2016 World Touring Car Championship series following a ‘difficult year’.

The Newmarket racer ended his 2015 campaign in frustrating style at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit, the WTCC’s inaugural visit to the Middle East.

However, after claiming his eighth victory at Macau’s Circuito da Guia - competing in the TCR International Series -he knows the fire is still burning in his belly.

“I’m taking a week out in Dubai with my family and I’ll have some time to reflect on the past year, think about the future and plan my assault on the 2016 WTCC – my 12th consecutive season at the pinnacle of international touring car competition,” Huff said.

“Lada will return with a new chassis and some engineering improvements that I’m sure will make a significant difference, and I will be 100 per cent committed as always.

“In what has been a difficult year, it was nice to finish with a win in Macau; having failed to achieve a victory in the WTCC for the first time in many years.

“It was the boost I needed to refocus my mind for 2016 and remind myself why I love racing and what I want from my career in the future.”

The Qatari track is purpose-built for night racing and has hosted the Moto GP for a couple of years, but this was the first time that the WTCC had competed under lights.

On the slippery and low-grip circuit, Huff - who had proved why he is nicknamed the King of Macau less than a week earlier - knew his Lada Vesta was going to struggle.

“My car hasn’t been right since the testing shunt in Hungary earlier in the year and it’s frankly a real handful over a single lap in qualifying, so I again languished towards the bottom end of the timesheets, unable to make my car react to changes that could see me improve,” Huff reflected.

“Qualifying was a far cry from Macau where I was head and shoulders above everybody else, as I was 17th in an 18-car field and unable to mount any kind of challenge.

“Frankly, this is very frustrating and not reflective of my ability in a touring car, but you’re only as good as your equipment at the end of the day.”

Huff conceding that the racing was no better than qualifying.

Despite making up a few places to 13th in race one, he had little opportunity to make a pass and went through the motions to the end.

Huff opted not to finish the second race.

He explained: “Race two was more of the same, but this time while making my way up the order in 11th I lost all brakes and opted to return the car in one piece to the pits.

“I had my fill of big shunts and didn’t want another one.”