World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff battled to an eighth-place finish on his first visit to the Bathurst 12 Hour at Mount Panorama Circuit on Sunday.
Starting the race in 15th position, Huff – driving for the Peter Conroy Motorsport team – initially gained a few places off the line, proving he was going to be no slouch in the early exchanges of the endurance affair.
Latching on to the back of the leading pack in his less competitive Audi R8 LMS machinery without the ultra upgrade, the Red Lodge driver completed his two-hour stint while running as high as fifth position.
Team boss Conroy maintained Huff’s good start by running consistently inside the top 10 for the duration of his spell behind the wheel of the Audi before handing driving duties to James Winslow.
However, the current Australian Formula 3 champion ran into difficulties just 30 minutes into his stint, with the car suffering temperature problems before radio contact was lost at the five-and-a-half-hour-mark.
Battling on, a solution was found by the team to manage the temperature of the car until the rain hit at the 10-and-a-half-hour-mark of the race.
On his final stint around the 6.4-kilometre circuit, renowned for hosting the legendary Bathurst 1000, Huff kept his cool as the heavens opened, and in treacherous conditions gained two places to take the chequered flag in eighth position.
“It’s been a fantastic experience and I will never forget it,” saidHuff.
“There was such a great feeling of satisfaction as we finished the race because we didn’t have it easy by any means.”
n Audi driver Oliver Jarvis is to team up with two former Formula One stars at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race.
The German manufacturer announced last week that the Newmarket driver will share driving duties in one of the their Audi R18 models with former Minardi and Williams driver Marc Gene, and Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi.