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Rob Huff ‘pretty comfortable’ ahead of BTCC return with Toyota

Rob Huff says he has settled in well to his new team at Toyota Gazoo Racing UK, as the 2012 World Touring Car Champion gears up for his full-time return to the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park this weekend.

Huff, 44, has not raced full-time in the BTCC since the 2004 season, although he competed in one-off events at Knockhill in 2023 with Team HARD and Silverstone in 2017 with Power Maxed Racing.

After extensive pre-season testing with the Speedworks Motorsport-run team, Huff is feeling settled at his new squad, where he will have Andrew Watson as team-mate as well as Josh Cook and Aiden Moffat as stable-mates at the satellite team run by the outfit.

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The last time Huff raced a touring car at Donington Park in the 2011 WTCC, he was twice on the podium. Huff also secured a podium finish in his one-off BTCC outing in 2017, proving he has the aptitude to perform quickly upon returning to the series.

“I think we’ve had a very positive pre-season, all-in-all,” said Huff. “Testing has been predominantly wet, but it’s been nice for me to be able to settle into the team, form relationships with everybody and get my head around the car a bit and the way it operates.

“It’s very busy inside the cockpit compared to what I’ve been used to recently, from its manual sequential ‘box and changeable gear ratios to hybrid deployment – and that’s before you even begin to consider the different tyre compounds!

“I’ve been working very well with my engineer and crew exploring different set-up options and feel pretty comfortable in the Corolla now.

“It goes without saying that I would love another seven or eight days in the car before the season gets underway, but I’m sure everybody else is of the same opinion!

“Donington is probably one of the UK circuits I’ve been to most often and one I’ve always enjoyed – it’s fast-and-flowing with a really nice combination of corners.

“It’s also a home event for Toyota with the Burnaston factory just around the corner, so hopefully we will see a large crowd of guys and girls there from TMUK [Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK] to cheer us on.

“The Corolla has a strong record at the track, so we’re keen to capitalise upon that and I’m targeting a good first weekend to start off as we mean to go on – with a big bagful of points!”

Team Principal Christian Dick added that the team has been working hard during the off-season to extract more performance from the car, as it expands to running four Corollas in the BTCC for the first time this year.

“There have been a lot of changes over the past few months, but one thing that has absolutely not changed is the burning ambition that drives every single member of this team – and the commitment to delivering no less than 100 per cent in the pursuit of perfection,” said Dick.

“And I don’t mean that lightly. The BTCC is so fiercely competitive that you can’t afford to leave a single stone unturned or so much as a tenth-of-a-second on the table if you want to win.

“That’s why we have worked harder than ever over the winter, to ensure we can go into the new campaign in the strongest possible shape and hit the ground running right from the first free practice session.

“The Corolla is a proven package in the championship, and even in its sixth season in the BTCC, we are still finding more pace and performance, with Rob and Andrew delivering useful feedback about areas for further improvement.

“Both drivers are quickly getting to grips with the Toyota and learning how to extract the best out of it, and I have no doubt that they will be capable of challenging for podium finishes from the outset.

“We’re all massively excited to get going and seeing what we can achieve this year!”

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