Rob Huff admitted he was humbled after the fans’ response to his return to the British Touring Car Championship (BTTC) at Silverstone, where he secured the Power Maxed Racing team their best result with second in the final race.
The experienced Newmarket driver was deputising for his World Touring Car Championship friend, and rival, Tom Chilton at the young BTCC squad, which has built their own car, with factory support from Vauxhall, from an Astra.
It was 14 years since Huff last raced in the championship and it was in the last race, after finishes of 16th and eighth, that he really made his mark, leading for the majority and having a titanic battle with three-time champion Matt Neal.
“I had no real expectations this weekend after qualifying 28th,” said the driver who carried an extra penalty of 45kg of ballast as a substitute driver.
“I just stayed out of trouble in the first two races and got the car up the sharp end of the grid.
“I had a fantastic start, and before the safety car came out, I thought we had it all done, but unfortunately it took my lead away.
“But even then, when Matt (Neal) got behind me, for five or six laps I thought I could probably still win the race, but he just sneaked up the inside of me.”
The 27-year-old added: “It’s nice to be able to give the team a podium and take the team in a new direction.
“The reception from the fans has also been brilliant. The fans are what make the championship.
“I’ve been away for 14 years, and they’ve remembered me, followed me and welcomed me back like I’ve never been welcomed before, and that response is very humbling.”