Rob Huff won the 2012 World Touring Car Championship Drivers’ title in a convoluted last round in Macau, which saw Chevrolet end the 2012 season with a massive and unprecedented 1,025 points after double and triple finishes.
Huff deservedly clinched his first WTCC Drivers’ title, but had to suffer until the very end of Race 2 after making an uncharacteristic mistake in the first race, forcing him to retire and delaying celebrations until the very last lap..
It was an exciting and emotional day for the team. Yvan Muller and Alain Menu took 1st and 2nd respectively in Race 1, while the Swiss – who gave Chevrolet its first WTCC win in 2006 – posted the last success for the team, taking the laurels in Race 2 ahead of Huff and Muller.
Huff, who was placed 3rd in 2010 and 2nd in 2011, ended the season on 413 points. He was followed by Alain Menu on 401 points and Yvan Muller takes on 393 points. This was the third consecutive Drivers’ title for Chevrolet and the RML-run Cruzes, which follows the Manufacturers’ third title won in Suzuka, Japan.
Chevrolet achieved an historical record, being the first constructor ever to pass the 1,000-point threshold and finishing the season on 1,025 points, ahead of BMW (650) and SEAT (617).
It was a fitting send off for Chevrolet as Darryl O’Young scored points in both races in the Independents’ Trophy at the wheel of a Bamboo Engineering Cruze.
Sunday’s races were packed with action and accidents. Muller got off to a great start in Race 1, arriving at the first corner ahead of pole sitter Huff and Menu. On lap 4, the Briton managed to overtake Muller at the Lisboa corner, but his leadership lasted barely minutes after he hit the wall at Pariol, damaging his Cruze and forcing him to the pits.
Meanwhile, Muller and Menu battled for victory up front. The two made contact, but the Swiss managed to stay out of the barriers and eventually crossed the line ahead of his teammate.
In Race 2, Menu had a great start from P8 and quickly took the lead, which he kept until the chequered flag. Huff ended 2nd after picking off those in front of him. He narrowly avoided Oriola (SEAT) and Michelisz (BMW) after the two independent drivers came together in the closing laps. Muller took 3rd place after being involved in a race incident with MacDowall. The safety car had to be called out following the two incidents.
The Macau race was the last for Chevrolet in the WTCC series after an extraordinary eight-year journey that produced three double WTCC titles (Manufacturers’ and Drivers’) and a staggering 68 race wins.