Drivers praise decision to abandon Main WTCC race

Drivers praise decision to abandon Main WTCC race

Rob Huff
Photo: David Noels / DPPI

Leading World Touring Car Championship racers have praised the decision to abandon the Main Race in China, with weather conditions at the Ningbo International Speedpark having continued to deteriorate.

Münnich Motorsport’s Rob Huff had been set to start the race from the pit lane, but the Citroën driver was one of the first to call it a day as he returned to the pits at the end of the safety car-led opening lap to report a broken steering rack.

But the Brit insisted the conditions were too dangerous to race even if his car had been repaired, with aquaplaning being a particular problem at the brand-new Ningbo circuit.

“They can’t start that race – it’s so dangerous you can’t believe,” said Huff. “The two guys at the back can’t even keep in a straight line with the safety car.

“Bruno [Correira] in the safety car can drive faster than we can. It’s far worse than we’ve heard all weekend – it’s dangerous.

“They’re in third gear behind the safety car and you can’t even accelerate without getting huge wheelspin. I’m almost glad I’m not out there because it’s that bad.”

Huff’s fellow Citroën racer Tom Chilton echoed his sentiments, admitting that he was even struggling to keep in control of his car behind the safety car.

“I actually got on the radio and told them to tell race control, to tell Bruno the safety car driver in the Volvo, to drive slower because we all can’t keep up in second gear,” added Chilton. “Without even going to third gear we were already aquaplaning – it was far too wet.”

Before the race, Chilton had hoped to be able to take advantage of Huff’s issues, which stemmed from contact between the duo in the Opening Race, to claim the lead of the independents’ standings, which quickly evaporated when it became apparent that no points were to be awarded.

“I was praying when I saw that Rob wasn’t in front of me on the grid,” added Chilton. “I was really happy because I’d be first in the Independents’ and leading the championship by a nice margin

“So I was really excited to get to five laps behind the safety car to get half points, but because we only managed three laps nobody got any points; we just got wet.”