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Rob Huff expecting to ‘cope well’ with physical Vila Real circuit

Rob Huff says he is expecting his Honda Civic to ‘cope well’ with carrying more weight in this weekend’s World Touring Car Championship races around the streets of Vila Real in Portugal.

Huff has to carry 60 kg of compensation weight due to the performances of the Civic in the previous three events. That puts his car just 20 kg lighter than the dominant Citroën C-Elysée, although it is less than the now-heavier LADA Vesta cars, which are on 70 kg.

The Brit has always gone well around street circuits, and is expecting to be on the pace between the barriers this weekend as he looks to improve on his position of eighth overall in the drivers’ standings.

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“I’m very happy to be back on the streets again after a difficult weekend in Moscow,” said the former champion. “There is a lot of support, not only for Tiago [Monteiro], but the entire Castrol Honda Racing team in Portugal and the race weekend is positioned perfectly, with it being summer in the city and with a lot of people enjoying the climate.

“We found in Morocco that the Honda Civic Type-R likes street circuits and, although we will be carrying a bit more weight, we know we cope well with it.

“Ultimately, everything comes down to qualifying because you pretty much have to rely on mistakes by other drivers to overtake in the races.

“Of course, the high ambient temperatures mean we will be pushing on towards 70 degrees inside the car. It’s very physical, but I’m looking for a comfortable weekend and a pair of podiums would be perfect.”

Huff also adds that he is optimistic of the weekend finally being rain-free – something which has not yet happened in the first half of the 2016 WTCC calendar.

“This should be the first time we haven’t had rain in the forecast since the start of the 2016 season,” added Huff. “We’re not expecting any of the rain, thunder, lightning, floods or aquaplaning that the WTCC has become used to.

“It means we can tackle the track, which boasts a few changes that have opened it up a bit.”

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