HUFF AND CHEVROLET CROWNED AT GALA
The FIA officially crowned Rob Huff as the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Champion at its Gala awards evening in Istanbul, Turkey, today.
The eighth season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship saw the three Chevrolet works drivers fighting for the Drivers’ Championship and giving the American car maker its third consecutive Manufacturers’ Championship.
After finishing twice in third position (2008 and 2010) and once second (2011), Huff eventually claimed his first World title, beating his team-mates Alain Menu and Yvan Muller.
For most of the year Huff was chasing the 2011 champion Muller who had taken the lead since the opening races in Monza. The first WTCC event in the USA, at Sonoma, gave Huff the opportunity to match Muller’s points tally and they remained even again after the following race meeting at Suzuka.
Shanghai was the turning point, as Huff took a solo lead after Muller was involved in a couple of incidents that left him scoreless.
But the season finale meeting at Macau provided plenty of drama as Huff crashed from the lead during the first race, which enabled Muller (who won) and Menu to cut the gap.
“What a mistake of me it was! But we had a happy ending. So we will ignore that… I overtook Yvan and was very happy, but half-a-lap later I lost the car and crashed. I have to thank the RML team, because they all jumped to my car when I pitted. There was quite a lot of damage to be fixed before the second race. They did a great job and my car was perfect,” said Huff.
In the second race, Huff recovered from 10th on the reverse grid to finish second behind Menu, which earned him the points he needed to be crowned champion.
“The time in between the races was horrific, but still I had a good margin of points and I knew that, even if Yvan or Alain were going to win, all I needed was to finish no lower than sixth. After the first safety car I was fifth behind Yvan, so it was just a matter of staying focused and not to make any other mistake…”
With five race wins, twelve other podium results, two pole positions and three fastest laps, Huff edged Menu by twelve points, while Menu completed the Chevrolet podium in third, a further eight points adrift.
“This has been a hard year. The first three events were not especially great for me, but then it got better and better. I have changed my strategy for the season; last year I had focused on being the fastest and equalled Yvan on race wins and poles but had more fastest laps. I finished second in the Championship and learned a lesson: you don’t just need to be the fastest to win the title. This year I’ve been concentrating on the races with my car set-up, and it paid off!
“It’s an amazing feeling to be World Champion. A couple of weeks after Macau I still have to sink in with the idea. And I am especially pleased, because the team made a gamble on me when they picked me up back in 2005, and I hope that I have shown they had made the right decision. It has been a perfect end to a fantastic venture.”
Vijay Iyer, Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe Communications Director, who collected the Manufacturers’ trophy, said:
“We are very happy to win the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championships for the third consecutive year. On behalf of our global Chevrolet team I want to thank our drivers and everybody at RML for the outstanding job, the commitment and the spirit shown during this entire season and the eight years of our partnership and presence in the WTCC.
“With over 1000 points scored in the Manufacturers’ classification it was a record season for us and to finish with a 1-2-3 in the last race at Macau was really symbolic of how great this experience has been for everyone involved.
“This has been a fantastic program for Chevrolet, which has brought a lot to our brand and the Chevrolet Cruze, with more than 1.7 million cars sold since we've launched. We say goodbye to the WTCC with a sense of pride for our achievements.”
Saturday, 8 December 2012
HUFF AND CHEVROLET CROWNED AT GALA
Posted by AmigosRacing/MRS GT. at 10:56