Robert Huff, better known as Rob and nicknamed Huffy, is a former World Touring Car Championship title winner and one of the most successful British touring cars drivers.
He was the WTCC champion in 2012, driving a factory-entered Chevrolet Cruze. While driving for Chevrolet, he was three more times in the world's Top 3 drivers.
Start in the single seaters
Huff was born on December, 25, 1979 in Cambridge and, as many professional racing drivers, started his career in karting in 1992. He has won four Pro Kart Championship title until 1997 after what he switched to Formula Ford. In 1998, Huff won Silverstone Junior BRDC Formula Ford Championship and Junior BRDC Peugeot 306 GTi. Those results helped him to earn Jim Russell World Scholarship for single seaters in 1999.
In 2000 Rob became Formula Vauxhall champion while a year later he has won Ethyl MG Championship B class title. Huff also competed in the British Formula Renault Championship that year, before he switched to saloon cars racing. In 2002 he was 3rd in Renault Clio Cup after he has won 7 podiums from 13 starts. In 2003, Rob won SEAT Cupra Challenge series in which he has won three races.
A year in the BTCC
The year of 2004 was the Huff’s first year as a professional driver. As a reward for the title won in the previous year, SEAT Sport UK team gave him a drive and Rob fulfilled expectations as he won two races and finished 7th overall in the British Touring Cars Championship. Obviously, he had a bright future in the series, but at the end of the year, he was ready for the new challenge.
Video - One day in Rob's life
Huff debuts in the FIA WTCC
Ray Mallock, who was running SEAT team in BTCC, took over the Chevrolet project in the World Touring Cars Championship and decided to take Huff with him. With a new car, Chevrolet Lacetti, Rob suffered a lot and couldn’t achieve anything spectacular. His best finish was 6th place in Mexico and took 20th place in the overall standings.
Huff’s second season in the WTCC was an improvement as he was 16th overall, but what was more important is the fact that he won his first race, at Masaryk Circuit near the city of Brno in the Czech Republic, being in the lead from the start of the race. Another important detail from 2006 was a hard crash in Puebla after which Rob was taken to the hospital, but luckily he wasn’t seriously injured.
Constant progress through the WTCC ranks
The season of 2007 brought further improvement for the British racer, even after the opening of the year wasn’t brilliant. Throughout the season his form improved, he finished thrice on the podium and won the race in Sweden at the Scandinavian Raceway. At the end of the season, he was 9th what was a good result and the confirmation that the team is going upwards.
In 2008, last year behind a wheel of Chevrolet Lacetti, Huff took third place in the WTCC Drivers’ Championship. The start of the year again wasn’t perfect but from race to race Huff improved and started to collect points. He won the race in Spain and the last race of the season in Macau, scored several podiums and at the end of the year was just a point behind a runner-up Gabriele Tarquini while Yvan Muller dominantly won the title.
Preparations for the assault on the WTCC title
For the 2009 season, Chevrolet switched to Cruze LT car and Huff needed some time to settle. After another slow start of the season during which he missed to score the points in four races, followed a big improvement. Rob won three races by the end of the season, twice was 2nd and in four races he was 3rd while at the end of the season he took 5th position.
For the second time in his career, Huff finished 3rd in the WTCC championship. The start of the 2010 season was good, but in the mid-season small drop probably was decisive to leave Rob out of the title race. By the end of the year, Rob won the races in the Czech Republic, Japan and Macau, earned 276 points, just as Tarquini who had more race wins and took 2nd position while Muller again claimed the crown.
Rob was 2011 WTCC runner-up and 2012 champion
Chevrolet was totally dominant in 2011 after their drivers won all but three races that year. Rob’s start of the year was furious after he has won four out of six races. Later in the season he won another two races and before the last round in Macau championship battle between Muller and Huff was opened. Even after he has won both races in the final round, Huff finished as the WTCC runner-up losing to Yvan Muller by only three points.
That unfortunate outcome hasn’t negatively affected Huff’s morale for the 2012 campaign. In his 8th consecutive season with Chevrolet in the WTCC, Huff finally won the title even after he won less number of races than in the previous year. British driver triumphed in Slovakia, Austria, Brazil, USA, and China, had 12 more podiums collecting a total of 413 points, 12 more than runner-up and his teammate Alain Menu.
Parting with Chevrolet and return to SEAT
Before the start of the 2013 season, Huff left Chevrolet after he has reached the top and signed with Munnich Motorsport to drive SEAT Leon WTCC. Despite driving for the relatively small team and a car which wasn’t competitive enough, Rob again did a good job. After he has won two races and three podiums, Huff managed to finish 4th in the points.
Huff had hard times with Lada
The following year was a hard one for the British driver. Huff has signed with the ambitious Lada Sport team, but their Granta model was from the cars of the other manufacturers. Especially hard was the first half of the year when Huff barely could win the points, but in the second half, he managed to clinch two wins. Unfortunately, he couldn’t finish better than 10th in the final classification.
The result Huff achieved in 2015, this time driving a new Lada Vesta. Rob finished in the points in more races than in the previous campaign, but also couldn’t take a win, for the first time since his FIA WTCC debut in 2005. Before the end of the season, he appeared in the TCR Series season-closing race in Macau. Driving West Coast Racing’s Honda Civic, he won the opening race while retired in the second one after the collision.
2016 - season with Honda factory team
Agonizing years with the Russian side were ended and the British driver signed with Honda team. He was projected as a team leader in an attempt to oust Citroen and Jose Maria Lopez from the WTCC throne.
Unfortunatelly, that plan wasn't fulfilled. Rob finished 6th overall in the 2016 WTCC campaign, behind both Honda teammates Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz. He was able to score only one victory and it was the season-opening race at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Participating in five touring car competitions in 2017
For the 2017 WTCC season, Huff rejoined his former team Münnich Motorsport, driving the #12 Citroen C-Elysee. He was a race winner once, winning at Macau Guia Circuit, what was his ninth victory at the famous street track. At the end of the season, Huff was seventh in the points.
In 2017, he also participated in six rounds of the TCR International Series, driving the #3 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR for Leopard Racing Team WRT. He won one race, at Chinese Zhejiang Circuit, finishing ninth in the points.
Huff also participated in several rounds of the Chinese Touring Car Championship, securing teams' title for Volkswagen. During a year, he also had one-off appearances in the British Touring Car Championship and TCR Benelux Series.
New challenge in the new WTCR series
In 2018, Huff stayed in the world's premier touring car competition, under the name WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup. He was driving the #12 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR for Sebastien Loeb Racing, scoring two wins and finishing eighth in the final standings.
In the Portuguese round at Vila Real street circuit he had a huge crash in the first race and had to skip the next two races. At Macau Guia Circuit, his beloved race track, he secured pole positions for two races but didn't manage to convert it to victories.