Rob Huff produced the drive of the day to defend his 2nd position in Race 1 at Brands Hatch and ensure the Chevrolet Cruze scored its maiden one-two finish on a traditional race circuit, before strengthening his personal challenge for the FIA World Touring Car Championship title by finishing in the points again with 6th place in Race 2.

Having never driven the new Cruze around the 2.3 mile Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit before, Rob and the Wellingborough-based RML team, which runs the works Chevrolet WTCC outfit, worked hard to find the best technical set-up in the two free practice sessions. The worked paid off handsomely, as the team blocked out the front row, with Rob qualifying 2nd, just 0.097 seconds behind team-mate Alain Menu, in the 27 car field.

“It’s great to have two cars in the first row,” said Rob. “The Cruze was really fantastic today, especially in the high-speed corners. I am very happy with the balance of the car and the last few set-up modifications we made during Q2 paid off.”

Dark clouds and a strong wind made race day conditions unpredictable, as a large crowd – including 300 of Rob’s personal guests – arrived at the famous Kent circuit. Despite a brief shower of rain before the first race, track conditions remained dry all day.

After a textbook start, Rob took the lead with a move around the outside of Menu at the first corner, Paddock Hill Bend. The 29-year old from Cambridgeshire could see in his mirrors that Menu had the quicker car, so Rob let him take the lead on lap five and set-about defending 2nd position from Andy Priaulx (BMW). That battle turned into the race of the day, and after a fantastic fight Rob kept Priaulx behind him to score his sixth podium finish of the season and a magnificent one-two race result for Chevrolet.  What’s more, the eight points scored moved Rob up to 4th in the drivers’ standings.

With the top eight finishers starting Race 2 in reverse order, Rob lined up on the inside of the fourth row of the grid. After a clean start, Rob overtook both Tiago Monteiro (SEAT) and Alex Zanardi (BMW) during the 16 lap encounter to take the chequered flag in 6th place. The three points scored saw Rob leave Brands Hatch 5th and top British driver in the WTCC standings, just one point behind Rickard Rydell (SEAT).

“I’m very happy with my performance at Brands Hatch,” said Rob. “Of course I would have liked to have won Race 1 here at home and in front of my fans, but Alain was faster, so I let him go on lap five and I just focused on protecting a great team result for Chevrolet.

“Andy Priaulx was behind me and had the pace over me. I made his life as hard as possible to keep him behind and was quick enough at certain points of the track to do so. He was quicker coming into the corners but luckily the Chevrolet is faster round the back of the track. I had to work hard for this result.

“I had another good fight with Tiago Monteiro and Alex Zanardi in Race 2 and I managed to pass both of them, finishing sixth and scoring some more good points.”

Rounds 17 and 18 of the WTCC take place at Oschersleben in Germany on 5-6 September.

Rob is extremely sad to learn of the death of Henry Surtees, the 18-year old son of the 1964 Formula 1 World Champion John Surtees, who was tragically killed in a Formula 2 support race at Brands Hatch on Sunday. Rob raced against Henry in a promotional kart race only last Thursday, and would like to pass on his sincere condolences to his family and friends.