Vila Real, FP2: Huff sets WTCC pace
"The car is great"
Rob Huff showed that he can take the FIA World Touring Car Championship fight to Honda at the WTCC Race of Portugal in Vila Real this weekend by topping the final free practice session before qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Citroën C-Elysée WTCC driver struck late in the 45-minute session with a time of 1m58.030 to edge Norbert Michelisz out by just two hundredths of a second.
“The car is great,” said Huff. “We’ve never really played a great deal with the car outside of testing, but we’ve made seven or eight changes here and confidence is growing.”
Like everyone, Huff continued to try the alternative route at the final corner which must be used for the obligatory ‘joker’ lap in both WTCC races on Sunday.
“It’s about four to four and a half seconds slower, and it is what it is,” he said. “I’m not a huge fan, but if it allows me to win a race tomorrow I will be.”
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team pair Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro will remain confident ahead of qualifying after finishing practice second and third fastest, although the latter was 0.6s off his team-mate’s best.
Championship leader Nicky Catsburg in the Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 WTCC was fourth fastest ahead of team-mate Thed Bjork.
One no-show for the session was Tom Coronel. The ROAL Motorsport driver will take no further part in the WTCC Race of Portugal after his big crash in Free Practice 1. The Dutchman explained that his left-front wheel broke and he was powerless to stop his Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 from smashing into a stationary safety vehicle, fortunately without injury to the driver or the occupants of the van.
The FIA WTCC Race of Portugal weekend continues with qualifying at 15.30h local time.
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