Rob Huff is hoping for ‘a proper ding-dong’ battle for the victory in the final FIA World Touring Car Cup race at Macau on Sunday, after the Brit put his Volkswagen on pole position for the final race of the weekend.
Huff, a nine-time winner of the Guia touring car race, also secured his ninth pole position on the famous street circuit on Friday.
The Brit beat Cyan Racing’s Andy Priaulx to the top time in the one-lap showdown in Q3, having topped both of the previous qualifying segments.
Huff paid tribute to his SLR team for their efforts in giving him a car he could push to the limits in, after he had earlier qualified in ‘only’ seventh in the first qualifying session of the day.
“First of all, thank you to SLR Volkswagen Motorsport,” said Huff. “To turn the car around and give me that car for this afternoon…
“We had a few problems this morning, we found a broken damper. We obviously got that back, but the confidence was quite down after that First Qualifying.
“It’s never easy, we did a lot of analysing to find out what the problem was and then of course you’ve only got a few laps to build the confidence back up and at Mandarin when you’re doing 240 kph it’s not exactly the most confidence-inspiring corner.
“But we got it back and the Q2 lap I did, the 27.9, was a bit of a special one. The car was brilliant you know. We had quite good positioning, JK [Vernay] was just behind and I just managed to get a really good run through sector two and three and of course that’s what counted.
“I managed to achieve the lap, which is fantastic, then I obviously got the [starting order] choice for Q3. I didn’t do a perfect lap but I did a lap that was strong enough. I think only Andy got quite close towards the end, he was half a second up but then the dropped sixth-tenths in one sector and I knew it was all in the last two corners.
“They looked pretty strong on the telly, but it was close between us. It’s great for us as Brits having Andy up here and congratulations to both Andy and Jean-Karl.”
Huff is hoping for a strong battle on Sunday as none of the top five drivers on the grid are in the fight for the championship and can battle hard for the race win.
The Brit is also not fazed by first having to start the reverse-grid race from tenth on the grid.
“We’ve got another opportunity. I’ve won here in cars from P10 on the grid, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s Macau.
“It’s going to be tough getting down to Lisboa. We’ve got the Audi, which as we know from last year, is seven or eight kph quicker than us in the straight line and the Lynk & Co will be pretty damn strong there as well so it’s going to be difficult, but we just don’t know what’s going to happen.
“The thing I’m happy for is that the three of us are not in the championship hunt so we can have a proper ding-dong.”