Rob Huff, one of the FIA World Touring Car Cup’s drawcard drivers, will not be on the series’ grid in 2020. The Englishman’s announcement comes in the wake of Sébastien Loeb Racing and Volkswagen confirming their respective exits from the series.
Huff has been a mainstay of the WTCR and its World Touring Car Championship forebear since the category’s rebirth in 2005. He has competed in 350 races across both championships, claiming 31 race wins (a record nine of which came on the streets of Macau alone), and won the 2012 WTCC crown.
“I’m proud to have had this long career in world touring cars, and to have driven in 350 races feels incredible; it really doesn’t feel like it’s been that many,” Huff said, reflecting on his career achievements.
“I remember my first win at Brno in 2006 like it was yesterday; but the years that followed were amazing. I had a fantastic time with Chevrolet, winning the 2012 title for them against two incredibly tough teammates in Alain Menu and Yvan Muller.
“Then picking up lap records and wins at Macau in a Lada was an altogether different challenge – and I’ll have the all-time front-wheel drive lap record at Macau for some time after what we did with that Citroën in 2017.
“For the last two years, Sébastien Loeb Racing and Volkswagen has been my home, and we’ve had a great time together through some ups and downs – to get that pole position at Macau three months ago was incredible given the competition we had to put up with.”
Huff will still spend 2020 behind the wheel, splitting his time as an owner/driver in the Chinese TCR series and hopefully contesting some GT and historic racing as his schedule permits.
“My immediate focus is on my race team in China; I’ll also do some races over there myself, while also coaching and developing new talent,” he explained.
“And then something I wasn’t able to do much of last year was much historic racing, which is something I really love, and also maybe get back into some more sports car and GT racing now I have a little more time on my hands.
“It’s been a great chapter in my career, and I’m sure there’s probably plenty more touring car races in my future, but for now I’m really looking forward to a new start for 2020.
“I’d like to thank the many people who have been a part of my World Touring Car journey. There are far too many to thank, but without the support of my family and friends, all this wouldn’t have been possible.”
Francois Ribeiro, head of Eurosport Events, the WTCR promoter, paid tribute to Huff’s achievements.
“Rob is part of the WTCR family and will always remain so,” he said.
“For 15 years he has been a fierce and highly accomplished racer on track and a great ambassador off it. We wish him every success in 2020 and we look forward to seeing him back in the future, hopefully behind the wheel on the WTCR grid.”
|PRE-WTCC/WTCR RACING CAREER|
|2003||SEAT Cupra Championship, 10 races, 2 wins, 7 podiums, 1st overall
|2004||British Touring Car Championship, SEAT Sport UK Toledo Cupra, 30 races, 2 wins, 7th overall
|FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP CAREER|
|2005||RML Chevrolet Lacetti, 19 races, 3 points, 21st overall
|2006||RML Chevrolet Lacetti, 19 races, 1 win, 20 points, 16th overall|
|2007||RML Chevrolet Lacetti, 22 races, 1 win, 4 podiums, 57 points, 9th overall|
|2008||RML Chevrolet Lacetti, 24 races, 2 wins, 6 podiums, 87 points, 3rd overall|
|2009||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT, 24 races, 3 wins, 8 podiums, 80 points, 5th overall|
|2010||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT, 22 races, 3 wins, 12 podiums, 276 points, 3rd overall|
|2011||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T, 24 races, 8 wins, 18 podiums, 430 points, 2nd overall|
|2012||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T, 24 races, 5 wins, 17 podiums, 413 points, World Champion
|2013||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC, 24 races, 2 wins, 5 podiums, 215 points, 4th overall|
|2014||Lada Sport Lukoil Granta 1.6T, 23 races, 2 wins, 3 podiums, 93 points, 10th overall|
|2015||Lada Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC, 23 races, 2 podiums, 103 points, 10th overall|
|2016||Castrol Honda Civic WTCC, 22 races, 1 win, 6 podiums, 199 points, 6th overall|
|2017||Münnich Motorsport Citroën C-Elysée, 20 races, 1 win, 7 podiums, 215 points, 7th overall|
|FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CUP CAREER|
|2018||Sébastien Loeb Racing VW Golf GTI, 28 races, 2 wins, 8 podiums, 242 points, 8th overall|
|2019||SLR VW Motorsport Golf GTI, 29 races, 2 podiums, 211 points, 11th overall|
Images via FIA WTCR Media