2012-WTCC champion and TCR International Series race-winner Rob Huff has been confirmed to drive a Volkswagen Golf GTi for Sebastien Loeb Racing in the new World Touring Car Cup, joining existing SLR driver Mehdi Bennani.
Whilst the move to the Golf’s is somewhat of a surprise for SLR, with team-owner Sebastien Loeb an active ambassador for the Peugeot brand, the decision is also nonetheless no-shock given Huff’s experience with the car and its prior success. The transition will also see them receive technical support directly from Volkswagen Motorsport.
“In the Golf GTi TCR, Volkswagen Motorsport has developed the ideal car to fight for race wins and we already enjoy a strong and fruitful relationship with them,” explains team-principal Dominique Heitz.
“As for our drivers, their talent and skills mean we’re confident that we have the best assets to keep adding to our tally and list of achievements.”
Huff joins the team having contested the majority of last years’ TCR International Series with Leopard Racing Team WRT, claiming a ninth with 3 podiums and a victory in his last race in Zhejiang before missing the finale in Dubai due to a clash with the WTCC Macau Guia Race.
“It’s great to join the WTCR, which is run by the same people at Eurosport Events I’ve worked with for 13 years in the WTCC, and continue the great relationship I started with Volkswagen last year in TCR,” said Huff.
“It’s also a fantastic opportunity to join Sebastien Loeb’s team. They’ve won the WTCC independents’ title for the last two years and, with no manufacturer entries in WTCR, that’ll put us right at the front. My aim this year is absolutely to win the title.”
Meanwhile, his new team-mate Bennani moves into his fourth season with the team having joined them from Proteam Racing in 2015. He has since gone on to claim the 2016 WTCC Independents’ Trophy and 5 race wins for the team in the powerful Citroen C-Elysee, only just missing out on a second Independents’ Trophy by 9.5 points to Tom Chilton last year.
“Staying with Sebastien Loeb Racing for another campaign was an easy and obvious decision as we have built a strong relationship of trust over the years,” said Bennani.
“WTCR cars are slightly different from the previous ones I raced but our technical team has already showcased their professionalism and expertise, so I’m confident we can fight for wins right from the start with the Golf GTi TCR.“