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Old 17-08-2003, 13:15   #1
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Thruxton race victory gives Robert Huff the Holiday Inn SEAT Cupra Championship title

Thruxton race victory gives Robert Huff the Holiday Inn SEAT Cupra Championship title


Robert Huff is the 2003 Holiday Inn SEAT Cupra Champion after winning the first of two title deciding races at Thruxton circuit.

Having led the Championship from the second round onwards, the Marshall of Cambridge Leon Cupra R driver won the title on round nine of the Holiday Inn SEAT Cupra Championship, with the final round 10 still to run.

Championship victory has given 23-year old Robert the biggest prize in British motorsport – a works drive with SEAT UK in the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship and all the luxuries that come with being a professional racing driver, including the use of an apartment in Monte Carlo.

Having overtaken Gavin Smith at the Thruxton chicane, Robert had settled for a safe 2nd place when race leader and nearest Championship rival Stefan Hodgetts came into the pits with a front left puncture. Robert drove an inch-perfect race for the remaining four laps, locking his brakes in a title winning celebration slide across the finish line!

Robert said: “I had a good start and was happy to sit in second place because I knew I’d done enough to making winning the title in the final Championship race very easy. I was just concentrating on keeping it smooth and away from the kerbs and making sure I reached the chequered flag when Stefan suddenly slowed at Goodwood Corner. I saw that he had a puncture and I really felt for him – he had the race won and he was very unlucky. From then on it was a case of driving carefully and I’m simply overjoyed to win the title. It’s been a fantastic year, I’ve really enjoyed racing in the SEAT Cupra Championship and now I’m a professional racing driver!”

Jason Plato, ITV Racing Rivals presenter and the Holiday Inn SEAT Cupra Championship driver mentor, was quick to praise Robert. “In my opinion, the right man has won the Championship. Rob’s performed well all year and has been the most consistently fast driver in the series. He’s turned disappointing grid positions and mishaps into race wins and points-scoring results, which is exactly what you need to do to win a championship.”

Stefan was philosophical about the puncture that finally put paid to his title aspirations in his black loaded backed Leon Cupra R. Recording the fastest lap of the race – at an average speed of almost 103mph – came as little consolation.

Stefan said: “That’s Thruxton for you. The surface is notoriously abrasive and you are either lucky and don’t have punctures or unlucky and do. Today I was unlucky. I was leading the race at the time and I know I am miles quicker than anybody else. There is nothing else I can say.”

The other two drivers who started the race with a chance of winning the title, Gavin Smith and Gordon Shedden, clashed twice in the same race. The first time Gordon locked his brakes and accidentally spun Gavin out of 3rd place, while on the penultimate lap Gavin and Gordon tangled again, this time with Gordon spinning. Gordon eventually finished 5th, while Gavin was 12th.

Race pole-sitter James Pickford enjoyed a great race to finish 2nd in his Abt Sportsline / Haribo Leon, ahead of Julian Westwood – who finished 3rd in the Championship’s spare car, after his own race car was replaced because of a mysterious misfire.

Emmet O’Brien recorded his best SEAT race result with 4th in his DABL / Spin 103.8 Leon, finishing ahead of Shedden and Paula Cook in her EFS Leon.

Stephen Colbert (Auto Trader / Track Smart Leon) and Andre D’Cruze (Hot Wheels / GamePod Leon) also picked up punctures, while Spencer Marsh was the only non-finisher after losing engine power on his Shell / Beacon Sport Management/ SEATCupra.Net backed Leon.

Holiday Inn SEAT Cupra Championship results – round 9:

1. Robert Huff 19min 35.816secs
2. James Pickford 19min 37.796secs
3. Julian Westwood 19min 45.059secs
4. Emmet O’Brien 19min 45.468secs
5. Gordon Shedden 19min 55.699secs
6. Paula Cook 19min 58.390secs
7. Hamish Gordon 20min 10.456secs
8. Karl Goshawk 20min 13.710secs
9. Natalie Barratt 20min 34.334secs
10. Melanie Healey 20min 09.730secs
11. Andre D’Cruze 21min 10.916secs
12. Gavin Smith 1 Lap
13. Stefan Hodgetts 1 Lap
14. Stephen Colbert 1 Lap

Spencer Marsh DNF

Holiday Inn Fastest Lap: Stefan Hodgetts 1min 22.374secs
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Old 17-08-2003, 13:21   #2
mark sheerin
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Congratulations Rob...(and Sam )

Spencers luck deserts him yet again
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Old 17-08-2003, 15:25   #3
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It has to be said that Rob has done an outstanding job this year and provided us with some quality racing.

Congrat you lucky *******
Now drives and Audi S3 with Revo
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Old 18-08-2003, 08:20   #4
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Spencers luck deserts him yet again

YIP and Hodgets too - would have been even mor exciting if it had gone to the last race - flippin Pirelli's
gone black LCR but not forgotten
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Old 18-08-2003, 08:34   #5
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Unlucky Stephan....
Unlucky Spencer

and Huff..... well what can you say! :devil:
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