Huff the hero in Hungary WTCC qualifying

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Rob Huff’s long wait for pole position in the FIA World Touring Car Championship is over after he set a blistering pace to land the DHL top spot at WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Hungary today.

The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver was the last to go in the top-five shootout but held his nerve to outgun Mehdi Bennani’s similar Citroën C-Elysée by 0.327s. Esteban Guerrieri made it a clean sweep for WTCC Trophy drivers in third in his Campos Racing Chevrolet with Polestar Cyan Racing pair Nicky Catsburg and Néstor Girolami fourth and fifth respectively at a warm and dry Hungaroring.

Huff scored his last official WTCC pole at Macau on 16 November 2012, a gap of four years, five months and seven days. And the Briton was naturally delighted after making it WTCC care pole position number 12.

“It’s a huge thanks to the team,” he said. “We came here really understanding the car, it was fantastic and we were confident. It’s not been easy today with the weather changing and FP2 was my first experience of the car in the wet. I was praying for it to be dry and we managed to pull the lap out when it counted. There was a lot of pressure waiting for 10 minutes with everyone watching. I didn’t want to let the team down because I knew I had the car for pole position so to reward the team like this is really nice.”

John Filippi took the all-important P10 in Qualifying Q2 to start the reverse-grid Opening Race at the front of the grid, where he will be joined by Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team’s Tiago Monteiro, who was ninth fastest. However, it was a frustrating day for Monteiro’s Hungarian team-mate Norbert Michelisz who was unable to make it beyond Qualifying Q2 for his home race.

“I was hoping for a bit of rain because in FP2 we realised the car was competitive when the circuit was wet but then when it was drying we knew with 80 kilograms it’s not going to be easy,” said Michelisz. “I expected Rob to be on top but I expected us to be right behind. We have to analyse because the gap is too much and for us the target is to fight for the championship. My lap was okay but I wanted to be in Q3. Now I have to target being on the podium in the races.”

Meanwhile, Tom Chilton was seventh, Thed Björk eighth following balance issues, Yann Ehrlacher P11 and Ryo Michigami P12. Tom Coronel, Aurélien Panis, Kevin Gleason and Dániel Nagy completed the top 16.

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