Rob Huff says Lada WTCC challenger now 'genuinely fast'

Rob Huff believes Lada ended the 2014 World Touring Car Championship as a genuine frontrunner, despite having been as much as five seconds off the pace at mid-season

The 2012 WTCC champion joined the factory Lada team this year after a season as a privateer in a Munnich SEAT.

The Lada project had only scored one top-five finish in the WTCC prior to 2014, but Huff claimed reversed-grid race wins at Beijing Goldenport and in Macau, plus a second place at Termas de Rio Hondo, on the way to 10th in the drivers' championship.

Huff said he had been prepared for a long struggle at Lada, so was thrilled with the rate of progress.

"It was clear from the beginning of the year that the car wasn't as fast as our competitors, but I knew that when I signed the contract with Lada," he told AUTOSPORT.

"I knew it was going to be a slow start, but if someone had told me I would walk away with two wins and a top 10 [in the championship] I would probably have signed earlier.

"There is a real sense of achievement as the team has come on in leaps and bounds.

"We were five seconds off the pace in Spa... Five seconds! That doesn't even compute for me.

"At Macau we were genuinely fast."

Lada will switch from the Granta to a new Vesta model for 2015.

With the TC1 Granta having only just been completed in time for the start of the 2014 season, Huff believes Lada can go into next year in much better shape.

"The new Vesta is well on the way for 2015," he said.

"ORECA is heavily involved with Lada Sport and we should see the car in late December or early January for quite an extensive two, or two and a half, month test programme before the first race."


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