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Rob Huff closes gap on Yvan Muller in title bid

Following the 2011 Race of Japan at the Suzuka East circuit, Rob Huff has closed the championship gap on rival Yvan Muller by 3 points.

With Huff having taken two podiums – a second in the first race and a third in the second – he has reduced the deficit to his French rival to thirteen points.

Muller had looked set for a strong opening race, having taken the lead from team-mate Alain Menu on the opening tour. However the reigning champion soon paid the price for his aggressive set-up and lost positions to Menu, Huff and Michel Nykjaer to eventually finish in fourth.

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“I paid the set-up choice I made, which turned out to be a little bit too aggressive, in the attempt to spare the constraint on the front left tire, which is the one suffering most here,” said Muller afterwards. “I could not keep Alain behind me and then lost two more positions when I made a little mistake.”

Muller’s second race saw him come through from fourth to secure second, although he was unable to take the victory from eventual winner Tom Coronel.

“I wasn’t in a position to really attack Coronel for the lead and stayed behind him to be ready for any opportunity, but he made no mistake,” admitted Muller afterwards.

Huff ensured that he remained close to Muller in the driver’s championship and he took two podium’s on the series first visit to Suzuka. However the British racer admits that the reduction to Muller is effectively insignificant with so many points on offer for finishing on the podium.

“Not a bad weekend, as I could shorten the gap from Yvan in the championship by three points, although today’s result doesn’t change things much,” said a circumspect Huff. “But we knew it is going to be a long and hard road up to the end!

“I was lucky that my car was not damaged in the pile up at the start, although there was quite a serious contact with Coronel, after that the race was pretty straightforward, and I could finish ahead of Yvan. Race 2 was more difficult as we were very close to each other in the top five and the tires were suffering more, but it was OK to finish right behind Yvan.”

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