Rob Huff lamented losing the lead at the start of the opening FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) race in Macau, saying his Volkswagen didn’t have the speed in the parts of the circuit where he could overtake his rivals.
The Sébastien Loeb Racing driver made a worse start than YMR’s Yvan Muller, allowing the Frenchman to take the lead around the outside of the first turn.
Jean-Karl Vernay then followed past in his Audi at Mandarin, leaving Huff in third and with an uphill task to move forwards in the rest of the race.
The nine-time Macau winner powered to two consecutive pole positions on Friday, but made most of his time in the twisty section of the circuit where it is near impossible to overtake his rivals.
That left him unable to repass Vernay or Muller later in the race, due to the superior straight-line speed of the Audi and Hyundai through the first sector.
“I didn’t get a horrific start, but it was not the best,” said Huff. “We struggle in sector one, we make our speed at the top of the hill, we know that.
“Ultimately, we struggled even with the added weight on the Audi to chase it in a straight line. It was quite obvious to see how quick JK was in a straight line and he used it very well.
“With the safety car and stuff, it’s difficult with our car. We are quick at the top, but not in the places where we can try to overtake. We need to stay in front, so we need to make a better start tomorrow.”
Huff will get another chance to take a win in Sunday’s third race, where he will once again start from pole position.