Huff Wins First WTCC race in Macau

Briton Rob Huff kept his FIA World Touring Car Championship hopes alive with victory in the first of the two races at Macau on Sunday.In a race that was affected by two safety car periods, Huff held off a big challenge from his Chevrolet team-mate and title rival Yvan Muller to deliver a crucial win that sets up a thrilling climax to the season.Huff had edged ahead at the original start, which was delayed for one lap because the cars had not formed up properly for the rolling start, but the safety car was called out almost immediately after local driver Andre Couto and Alain Menu clashed at Mandarin Bend.Couto spun across the track and into the barriers before colliding with Menu – whose Chevrolet car was then left stranded on the track.The race restarted at the beginning of lap five, but the safety car was called out again after Darryl O’Young and Mehdi Bennani collided on the exit of Lisboa and left oil and debris over the track.On lap eight the race restarted, and Huff again held his advantage over Muller as the pair pulled away from third placed Gabriele Tarquini.Although Muller was able to pick up Huff’s slipstream on each lap to get close to his team-mate into Lisboa, he could not find a way through – with the pair banging bumpers on the final lap.

Huff eventually finished 1.016 seconds clear of Muller, with Tarquini coming home third ahead of Tom Coronel and Michel Nykjaer. “That was probably the hardest Macau win that I’ve ever had,” said a delighted Huff afterwards. “But I kept Yvan behind me and we will see what we can now do in race two – as I have a better starting position than him for that one.”

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