Macau WTCC: Lada's Rob Huff claims seventh victory at famous track

Lada racer Rob Huff scored a dramatic seventh victory in Macau after heartbreak for Tiago Monteiro in an unpredictable 2014 World Touring Car Championship finale

Macau WTCC: Lada's Rob Huff claims seventh victory at famous track

Briton Huff was engaged in a ferocious three-car fight for the lead with Monteiro and Yvan Muller for much of the race.

Two laps before the scheduled finish, Portuguese ex-Formula 1 driver Monteiro appeared to have done enough to score his first win of the season, having eked out a comfortable two-second lead.

The intervention of a late safety car appeared to hand Huff a final opportunity to recover terms on Monteiro.

The factory Honda racer successfully defended his position into Lisboa on the restart, only to falter with a power steering problem exiting the Melco hairpin on the final lap.

"Without Tiago's problem, I don't think I could have won," said a modest but delighted Huff.

"I didn't know at the time what the problems was, but it caused him to hit the wall, and that made me hit the wall exiting Melco.

"I knew the Lada wasn't the quickest car in a straight line, so I had to make it really wide when fighting my old friend Yvan. I am so pleased for everyone at Lada Sport."

Eighth-place starter Muller provided a determined attack throughout, but finished just 0.3s adrift of Huff at the finish. The Alsace driver locked his front axle on the final restart, gently nudging Huff, before momentarily losing ground.

Polesitter Hugo Valente had dropped to second behind fast-starter Monteiro away from the line, and the Parisian's attempt to recover the position at Lisboa on the opening lap resulted in outbraking himself and falling to fifth.

Valente worked himself back up to the final place on the podium by diving inside race one runner-up Norbert Michelisz into Lisboa on the penultimate lap.

Hungarian Honda privateer Michelisz finishes the season without a win, but his consistent frontrunning performances earned him fourth place in the drivers' standings behind the dominant Citroen trio of Jose Maria Lopez, Muller and Sebastien Loeb.

Recently crowned WTCC champion Lopez finished fifth ahead of former World Rally Championship star Loeb.

Lopez has achieved the record for both most wins in a season, with 10, and most points.

Front row starter Tom Chilton took seventh place, one second clear of ROAL Motorsport team-mate Tom Coronel.

WTCC veteran Franz Engstler brought his seventh and final season in the series to a close with victory in the Yokohama Trophy and 10th overall.

Only two Hondas started the Macau finale, as factory driver Gabriele Tarquini withdrew with illness and Proteam was unable to repair Mehdi Bennani's car following his race one accident.

RESULTS - 11 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Rob Huff LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 28m21.086s
2 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 0.344s
3 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 3.352s
4 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 3.990s
5 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 4.285s
6 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 4.825s
7 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 5.562s
8 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 6.615s
9 James Thompson LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 8.252s
10 Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 41.038s
11 Rene Munnich All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m31.505s
12 John Filippi Campos Racing SEAT 1m38.302s
13 Filipe Souza Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 1m40.310s
14 Ka Lok Mak RPM Racing Team BMW 2m04.022s
15 Henry Kwong Campos Racing SEAT 2m22.483s
16 Tiago Monteiro Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Not running
- Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen Retirement
- Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport Lukoil Lada Retirement
- Gianni Morbidelli All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Retirement
- Gabriele Tarquini Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Not started
- William Lok Campos Racing SEAT Not started
- Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing Honda Not started

FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Jose Maria Lopez 462
2 Yvan Muller 336
3 Sebastien Loeb 295
4 Norbert Michelisz 201
5 Tiago Monteiro 186
6 Gabriele Tarquini 182
7 Tom Coronel 159
8 Tom Chilton 150
9 Gianni Morbidelli 109
10 Rob Huff 93
11 Mehdi Bennani 85
12 Hugo Valente 85
13 Ma Qinghua 69
14 Dusan Borkovic 41
15 James Thompson 22
16 Mikhail Kozlovskiy 11
17 Franz Engstler 8
18 John Filippi 4
19 Rene Munnich 3
20 Pasquale Di Sabatino 2

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Macau WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez dominates race one for Citroen
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