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Rob Huff: ‘Race two was one of the toughest and most aggressive races’

Rob Huff described his victory in the second TCR International Series race in China as being ‘one of the toughest and most aggressive races’ that he has been involved in, after he claimed his first TCR win of the year in his last race.

Despite starting from tenth in the reverse-grid race, Huff came through the field to take victory, overturning a 10.5-second deficit to early leader James Nash.

The win comes in his last race with the Leopard Racing team, as the Brit now has clashing commitments with the Macau round of the World Touring Car Championship, which takes place on the same weekend as the rescheduled TCR finale.

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“It was a very, very tough race,” said Huff. “It was one of the toughest and most aggressive races that I’ve ever been involved in, but also probably one of the most enjoyable at the end, because we came out on top.

“Huge congratulations to Gabriele [Tarquini] and Hyundai to come out on top [in race one] – we knew they were going to be quick – but I don’t think anyone expected them to be quite that quick.

“It was a hell of an achievement to get 40 kg and be limited to 95 % power half-way through their first weekend and I was very pleased when I didn’t see him in my rear-view mirror in race two. It was just incredible the pace of their car in the first race.

“The Volkswagen Golf was amazing; myself, Gianni [Morbidelli] and Jean-Karl [Vernay] were very fast, but we just couldn’t match the Hyundais.

“But race two – wow, what a race. At one point I think we were four abreast going into the chicane before the hairpin – I was on the outside and I didn’t know what the hell was going on to be honest with you. It was left, it was right and it was in the middle but we came out on top and that was the main thing.”

With Huff’s main objective this year having been to support team-mate Vernay, he leaves feeling positive that he has done his job and also been able to claim a win in the process.

“It’s never easy coming to a championship where you’re in a position where you potentially can’t win,” added Huff. “As racers we want to win of course, but my job was to come here to help Jean-Karl and obviously if I have the opportunity like I did in race two today, then I can take it.

“I’m just very, very happy that he’s 21 points ahead going into the final round, and we know the car is getting stronger and stronger all the time. I think Dubai will suit the car quite well.”

Huff also alluded to his replacement driver for the finale in six weeks’ time, who is pleased to have taking over in the driving seat.

“I’m pretty pleased with my replacement driver for Jean-Karl – I think it will be quite a surprise and he’s going to have a very good team-mate for the last round.”

Vernay also gave a clue as to who he will be teaming up with in the desert, adding: “You’re going to be surprised – it’s somebody with titles…”

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