Suzuka WTCR: Rob Huff wins reversed-grid race for Loeb VW

Rob Huff, the 2012 World Touring Car champion, scored his second win of the '18 WTCR season in the reverse-grid race at Suzuka

Suzuka WTCR: Rob Huff wins reversed-grid race for Loeb VW

Huff secured second on the grid behind the Campos Racing Cupra of Pepe Oriola having qualified ninth on Friday, but the Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen driver snatched the lead up the inside at Turn 1.

A safety car period followed shortly after that as the Munnich Honda of Esteban Guerrieri - who had set an identical laptime in qualifying to Oriola but qualified 11th - was spat into the barriers through the esses.

Action resumed on the third lap of 10, but Huff was never put under any real pressure by Oriola and steadily began to build a two-second cushion.

The Briton crossed the line with 1.4s in hand over Oriola to take his first win since April's Hungaroring round.

Oriola spent the latter half of the race defending from the BRC Racing Hyundai of Norbert Michelisz, who managed to dispense with Denis Dupont's Comtoyou Racing Audi shortly after the restart.

But Michelisz couldn't find a way past Oriola and had to be content with his first podium since his victory in Slovakia in July.

Dupont then found himself demoted by three more drivers, succumbing to Comtoyou team-mate Aurelien Panis, the second BRC Hyundai of Gabriele Tarquini and Kevin Ceccon's Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo, and was then demoted outside the points by a post-race penalty for an out of position start.

Saturday race winner Ceccon was able to make three spots from his grid slot of ninth to finish sixth behind Panis and Tarquini, and ahead of race one poleman Aurelien Comte's DG Sport Peugeot.

Huff's Loeb Racing team-mate Mehdi Bennani and Yann Ehrlacher moved up to eighth and ninth following Dupont's demotion.

Having drawn level with Tarquini at the head of the standings on Friday, Yvan Muller failed to make progress from 11th on the grid and only gained a point when Dupont's penalty was applied.

It means Tarquini is now nine points clear of Muller, with Thed Bjork now 27 points adrift in third after also finishing outside the points in 12th.

Tiago Monteiro's comeback weekend continued with a low-key run to 15th in the best of the Boutsen Ginion Hondas.

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Rob Huff Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 10 23m21.959s
2 Pepe Oriola Campos Racing Cupra 10 1.444s
3 Norbert Michelisz BRC Racing Team Hyundai 10 1.938s
4 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Racing Audi 10 7.685s
5 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Racing Team Hyundai 10 8.984s
6 Kevin Ceccon Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 10 9.418s
7 Aurelien Comte DG Sport Competition Peugeot 10 11.749s
8 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 10 12.186s
9 Yann Ehrlacher Munnich Motorsport Honda 10 13.894s
10 Yvan Muller YMR Hyundai 10 14.127s
11 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Racing Audi 10 14.594s
12 Thed Bjork YMR Hyundai 10 14.760s
13 Denis Dupont Comtoyou Racing Audi 10 15.960s
14 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi 10 17.632s
15 Tiago Monteiro Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 10 18.135s
16 Timo Scheider Munnich Motorsport Honda 10 19.010s
17 Nathanael Berthon Comtoyou Racing Audi 10 19.803s
18 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi 10 20.603s
19 Tom Coronel Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 10 21.176s
20 Mat'o Homola DG Sport Competition Peugeot 10 21.646s
21 Norbert Nagy Zengo Motorsport Cupra 10 23.111s
22 John Filippi Campos Racing Cupra 9 1 Lap
23 Luigi Ferrara Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 8 2 Laps
- Zsolt Szabo Zengo Motorsport Cupra 2 Retirement
- Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda 0 Retirement


shares
comments
WTCR Japan: Ceccon earns Alfa Romeo first series win in race one

Previous article

WTCR Japan: Ceccon earns Alfa Romeo first series win in race one

Next article

Suzuka WTCR: Tarquini wins and opens points lead, Ceccon penalised

Suzuka WTCR: Tarquini wins and opens points lead, Ceccon penalised
Load comments

About this article

Series WTCR
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Rob Huff
Author Jamie Klein
The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement Plus

The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement

The news is out that three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx is stepping down from full-time racing. But he's still got plenty of mileage left him in yet, and his son has much more

WTCR
Jun 16, 2020
The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats Plus

The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats

Esteban Guerrieri spent years trying to make it in single-seaters, and came closer than you'd think to making it to F1. Now he's forging a successful tin-top career, but it's his philosophical approach to defeat and personal growth that is truly impressive

WTCR
Jan 13, 2020
The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle Plus

The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle

Team orders in major touring car racing are nothing unusual with manufacturer honour at stake. But in the 2019 World Touring Cars title fight, one team is raising eyebrows with the choices it is making

WTCR
Nov 18, 2019
The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter Plus

The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter

Emotions ran high at Suzuka last weekend between two teams gunning for global tin-top bragging rights, and little has been done to cool those tensions since. While that's great news for WTCR, is there a danger of both outfits losing sight of their main aim?

WTCR
Nov 2, 2019
How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play Plus

How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play

The World Touring Car Cup has gone from strength to strength for 2019 - but one small team in particular is proving time and again that it merits a place alongside the series' big hitters

WTCR
Apr 23, 2019
The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history Plus

The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history

The WTCR has made a massive step up in quality ahead of its second season in its current format, but as manufacturers start to lock horns is it already in danger of repeating other great touring car series' mistakes?

WTCR
Apr 5, 2019
A world champion in waiting's tortuous path to recovery Plus

A world champion in waiting's tortuous path to recovery

Tiago Monteiro seemed destined to win the World Touring Car Championship last year, until a huge testing crash halted his charge. After early whispers of a swift racing return, he recounts his arduous (and incomplete) road to recovery

WTCR
Aug 9, 2018
Why a world championship made the ultimate sacrifice Plus

Why a world championship made the ultimate sacrifice

A rulebook scrapped with two-thirds of its planned existence remaining and the disintegration of a 'world championship' - yet everyone's a winner from one of modern motorsport's greatest acts of martyrdom

WTCR
Jan 9, 2018