Beijing Goldenport WTCC: Rob Huff gives Lada maiden WTCC win

Rob Huff ended Lada's six-year wait for a World Touring Car Championship victory by scoring the Russian manufacturer's maiden win in the reversed-grid race at Beijing Goldenport

Beijing Goldenport WTCC: Rob Huff gives Lada maiden WTCC win

The 2012 WTCC champion exploited his pole position for qualifying 10th in Q2 to the full, but had the required strength of pace to protect his lead from a late threat offered by Dutch veteran Tom Coronel.

ROAL Motorsport's Coronel had good incentive to secure a top finish after witnessing his team-mate Tom Chilton take victory in the opening race.

Coronel resisted the advances of nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb in the early laps to aid Huff's break, but when the Briton encountered a vibration in the closing laps Coronel narrowed the deficit to a tense 0.765 seconds at the finish.

"At no point before August did I think we were close to this result," said Huff, referring to the intensive development work carried out by Lada in the summer break.

"The first three laps were strong and I was helped by my friend Tommy.

"I was looking at his pitboard that said I had 2.5s gap, and was gauging my pace to that.

"But about three laps from the end I developed a vibration, and I could imagine Tommy's eyes lighting up.

"It is perhaps was my hardest win because of all of the work that has gone into it by the team."

Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez was the most dynamic performer of the afternoon, utilising the speed of this year's dominant Citroen C-Elysee to fight his way up from seventh to fourth.

Lopez's charge took him to the brink of a podium, and the Argentinean took the chequered flag just half a car's length behind team-mate Loeb after the rally ace lost time sliding on dust at Turn 5 on the last lap.

Having taken three points off his title rival Lopez by finishing second in race one, Yvan Muller ended the weekend losing further ground to his adversary in the drivers' standings.

In a repeat of race one, Muller was unable to progress past his former team-mate Chilton, who pegged him back to ninth.

Behind Lopez, Zengo Motorsport's Norbert Michelisz held off sustained pressure from James Thompson to finish fifth.

RESULTS - 26 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Rob Huff LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 28m52.502s
2 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 0.766s
3 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 3.072s
4 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 3.102s
5 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 8.673s
6 James Thompson LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 9.938s
7 Gianni Morbidelli All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 11.111s
8 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 11.553s
9 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 12.463s
10 Gabriele Tarquini Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda 12.805s
11 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 19.571s
12 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 21.714s
13 Tiago Monteiro Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda 24.261s
14 Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 1 Lap
15 John Filippi Campos Racing SEAT 1 Lap
- Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing Honda Retirement
- Filipe Souza Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW Retirement
- Rene Munnich All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Withdrawn
- Dusan Borkovic NIS Petrol by Campos Racing Chevrolet Not started
- Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport Lukoil Lada Not started

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Jose Maria Lopez 339
2 Yvan Muller 273
3 Sebastien Loeb 238
4 Tiago Monteiro 146
5 Gabriele Tarquini 126
6 Tom Coronel 118
7 Norbert Michelisz 118
8 Tom Chilton 117
9 Gianni Morbidelli 103
10 Rob Huff 66

shares
comments
Beijing Goldenport WTCC: Tom Chilton takes first victory of 2014

Previous article

Beijing Goldenport WTCC: Tom Chilton takes first victory of 2014

Next article

Lada: Rob Huff's Beijing Goldenport WTCC win reward for huge effort

Lada: Rob Huff's Beijing Goldenport WTCC win reward for huge effort
Load comments
Why joker laps are entering the mainstream Plus

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

This season the World Touring Car Championship looks certain to bring joker laps to a circuit-racing world championship for the first time. And it need not be the daft gimmick people may think

WTCC
Apr 6, 2017
The making of the world's best tin-top driver Plus

The making of the world's best tin-top driver

He has been overshadowed at Citroen for the last three seasons, but the retirement of Yvan Muller means the world says farewell to one of touring-car racing's finest talents

WTCC
Sep 26, 2016
Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC Plus

Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC

Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC

WTCC
Jan 18, 2016
The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off Plus

The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off

A 17-car field on a 13-mile track - the WTCC's Nurburgring Nordschleife gamble wasn't going to be easy to pull off. STUART CODLING explains how the series made it work

WTCC
May 20, 2015
Insight from a Nordschleife master Plus

Insight from a Nordschleife master

World championship racing returns to the Nordschleife this weekend. STUART CODLING got a lesson from one of the legendary track's few masters

WTCC
May 15, 2015
Becoming world champion for £100k Plus

Becoming world champion for £100k

The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000

WTCC
Mar 23, 2015
Can the vanquished champion bounce back? Plus

Can the vanquished champion bounce back?

The World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Argentina this weekend, and Yvan Muller bids to reclaim his throne from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez. He talks to STUART CODLING

WTCC
Mar 6, 2015
The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Citroen had no rivals during the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, and 'rookie' Jose Maria Lopez hit the ground running to emerge as a worthy champion. PETER MILLS rates the field

WTCC
Dec 3, 2014