Just a few races into his switch to the Münnich Motorsport team and reigning World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff is already thrilled, with the new team already turning heads in its maiden season of WTCC competition.
After several years with Chevrolet, the Englishman made a shock switch of manufacturers during the 2012-13 off-season, less than a month before the current season kicked off in March.
His SEAT León WTCC challenger was only fully built just four days before the championship year kicked off at Monza, leaving him with just a short shakedown test at the Slovakiaring before the field went racing in Italy.
“It’s a steep learning curve, but I think a lot of people in the pits are probably quite surprised with how we’re doing, which is good,” Huff told AUTOSPORT.
“Everything is moving in the right direction and every time there is a problem there seems to a clear idea of how to solve it. We’re progressing really well.
At the following round in Marrakech, he managed a top-ten qualifying result despite a broken turbo. In the races, he again mixed it with the frontrunning cars, and briefly enjoyed a battle with former teammate and fellow champion Yvan Muller.
“Qualifying [in Marrakech] was mainly where we discovered my turbo wasn’t working,” he added.
“It’s worth about three to four tenths a lap, so we’re happy that we found it.”
And with more events under the team’s belt, Huff is confident that the ex-GT1 World Championship winning team can continue its run of surprise performances.
This weekend, the field contests the third round of the WTCC season at the Slovakiaring, which was the scene of a race win for SEAT’s Gabriele Tarquini at the venue’s inaugural event last year.
“In the past the car has suited tracks like Slovakia very well, so we’re feeling positive [heading into the weekend],” Huff continued.
“Whether we have the pace to challenge Chevrolet and Honda is yet to be seen, but at the end of the day it is the first year of the team: you’re not just going to walk in and take charge straight away.
“[But] I’m genuinely very impressed with our progress already.”