Honda drivers free to fight for WTCC places

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By Emmanuel Touzot

16 September 2016 - 17:20
Honda drivers free to fight for (...)

Factory Honda drivers Rob Huff, Norbert Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro will be free to fight for the coveted runner-up spot in the final 2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship standings with Huff adamant there will be no team orders.

Monteiro is best placed of the works trio heading to WTCC Race of China next week with 199 points in the bag. However, Huff and Michelisz are both firmly in the fight on 178 and 172 points respectively.

“I’m fourth in the standings with one eye on Norby in fifth and the Citroën boys, who played a shrewd tactical game by allowing Yvan Muller to grab a few extra points [in Japan],” said Huff, the 2012 WTCC champion. “That makes it harder for me in the championship, but it’s to be expected.”

Huff was speaking in the aftermath of Honda’s home event, WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan earlier this month, where José María López slowed to let Citroën team-mate Yvan Mulller win the Main Race. While López insists this was a gesture of respect to his French colleague on the day the Argentine became provisional WTCC champion for a third time, a maximum score for Muller means he’s now tied with Monteiro in the title table.

“At Honda, we’re pushing for ourselves,” Huff continued. “There aren’t any team orders and that’s the way we like it. We would never want to take a position we don’t deserve and it makes no sense for the WTCC’s loyal army of fans either. As a brand, we want to race.”

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