British driver Robert Huff made history by winning a record-breaking ninth time around the Guia Circuit, after coming first in the main race of the Macau Grand Prix’s WTCC weekend.
Huff also broke the record of last Friday’s qualifying session, clocking a lap on the 6.1km Guia Circuit in 2.23.995s. The previous record of 2.24.294s belonged to Argentinian Jose Maria Lopez, also driving a Citroen C-Elysee.
Out from the pole position for yesterday morning’s finale, Huff maintained the lead in a race that started at a cautious speed behind the Safety Car, due to the rain that fell overnight and in the early morning.
The race started in earnest after the first three laps, when Huff started to push forward with a comfortable time gap from Castrol Honda’s Norbert Michelisz of Hungary. At the finish line, Huff won by an impressive 8.142s advantage.
Michelisz took second place with the help of teammate Esteban Guerrieri, who kept Tom Chilton’s Citroen C-Elysee at a distance. Michelisz narrowed the gap at the championship table behind Volvo’s Thed Bjork, who later came in fifth.
On the last lap, after Guerrieri received a warning from the organizers, Chilton broke through at D Maria Bend, but was too late to threaten Michelisz’s position.
In the end, Huff, Michelisz and Chilton took the first three places.
Huff was thrilled with the result and the work done by his team, as his car had been damaged after the incident at Police Bend during Saturday’s opening race.
“Absolutely amazing!” said Huff. “All credit to the team. They did an unbelievable job to rebuild the car last night. At midnight I didn’t think I had a car for today.”
“For the first lap or two I was really careful on the brakes into Lisboa, which allowed Michelisz to catch up, but the car was awesome.”
Veteran Tom Coronel, at the wheel of ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1, followed up his second place in Saturday’s race with sixth place in the main race, proving once again the importance of experience on the Guia circuit.
The Macau championship opens new possibilities for the last round, which will be held at Losail International Circuit, Qatar on November 30 and December 1. With 60 points still in dispute, seven drivers are still in the running for this year’s world title.