Huff Tops Marrakech Test As Chilton Shines

Tom Chilton - Photo Credit: WTCC Media
Chilton was denied top spot but impressed nonetheless - Photo Credit: WTCC Media

Rob Huff may have posted the fastest time in the Friday test session for the WTCC Race of Morocco on the streets of Marrakech, but it was Tom Chilton who impressed the most by sitting in top spot until the closing moments.

Team Aon have endured a tricky start to their life in the world championship, in particular suffering from increased ballast due to the disputed legality of a suspension part. Chilton showed much more competitively today though, and moved ahead with a few minutes remaining.

It wasn’t to be though as fellow British driver Huff then bettered his effort by eight tenths. Alain Menu was on a flyer as the checkered flag came out but aborted his lap and so finished up in third place.

“It was a great start to the weekend,” said Chilton. “I have always liked street circuits and I love driving touring cars in narrow places like Macau. You get a great feeling.

“Today I was following Yvan (Muller) and I saw him locking his brakes and brushing the wall. It is exciting! At every corner you say yourself: this time I'm gonna hit the wall! You can feel your leg shaking while pushing on the brake pedal. And when you make a mistake is not like on the other tracks, when you just put your tryes on the grass. Here you leave your mirror against the wall and then… the rest of your car.”

“We are very happy with the progress of our car, and I think this is a circuit that suits the Focus that is very good on the kerbs. And here there are kerbs everywhere. What may be a too soft set up on a permanent racetrack seems to work very well here.”

Gabriele Tarquini was fourth in his Lukoil SEAT, ahead of bamboo Chevrolet driver Alex MacDowall, who had held P2 behind Chilton with a couple of minutes remaining.

MacDowall shaded Darryl O'Young to be top Yokohama Trophy runner, while championship leader Yvan Muller was only seventh quickest and 1.7s adrift of Huff's time. BMW drivers Franz Engstler and Tom Coronel were eighth and ninth, with the SEAT of Pepe Oriola rounding out the top ten.