Seat Sport UK: Huff shunts and shines at Oulton Park
Huff shunts and shines at Oulton A drama filled qualifying session for Round 10 of the Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) this afternoon at Oulton Park saw SEAT Sport UK driver Robert Huff snatch 10th position, having only taken part in the final eight minutes of the session. After two promising free practise sessions, team-mate Jason Plato was also on course to record a top ten position for tomorrow’s opening race - only to have his flying laps ruined by some questionable driver tactics and ending the session in 14th place.
An accident during free practice this morning saw Robert Huff’s Toledo Cupra slam into the barriers at Cascades corner, badly damaging the left hand side of the car. The SEAT Sport UK team did a miraculous job to repair the car and get Rob out on the track with only eight minutes of the qualifying session left to run. Managing to find a clear piece of track, a great drive by Rob saw him secure 10th position on only his fourth lap out of the garage.
Rob said: “I had a massive shunt this morning during the second free practice session which was probably my biggest accident in two years. I was coming down the hill into Cascades corner and as I tried to brake the car snapped sideways and I spun and hit the barrier side on. The whole left side of the car was badly damaged, but it seems that nothing can beat these SEAT Sport UK guys as they did a fantastic job to repair it by this afternoon.
“They were still finishing off five minutes into the qualifying session and I fired the engine up ready to go out, only to find the alternator had a load of gravel in it and was ceased solid. We changed it and I finally managed to get out on the track with eight minutes of the session left. Luckily enough I managed to find some space on the track and get a couple of fairly decent laps in to take tenth. Tomorrow I want to try and keep that place and secure pole for the second race as the car feels great.”
Jason said: “The ultimate truth is we just didn’t get a lap in. From the feedback of this morning’s sessions we made some changes to the car prior to qualifying and also during qualifying but I didn’t get one flying lap in because my laps were spoilt by amateurs - end of story! There is a code of conduct among professional racing drivers and that is if someone’s behind you and they’ve got their lights on you move out the way. Justin Keen and Rob Collard were cruising round on the racing line blatantly trying to ruin everyone’s lap times. They can’t get up the grid on their own so they deliberately try and ruin other driver’s chances – it’s just not good enough. Unfortunately both of my best laps were completely spoilt and now we’re in a similar situation to what we were at Brands Hatch where we’re towards the back of the grid with the amateurs - and as seen on the opening race there we know what can happen!"
The first of three 15 lap BTCC races starts tomorrow at 12.15, the result of which will determine the grid positions for Race 2 – where the top 10 finishers start in reverse order. Race 2 starts at 14.45 and the results of that race will determine the grid positions for Race 3, which begins at 17.15.