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Page last updated at 08:27 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 09:27 UK
Touring cars set for Brands showdown
David Garrido
Newsbeat sports reporter

Rob takes on our reporter in karting head-to-head

It's the British round of World Touring Cars this weekend, Newsbeat has been back to Brands Hatch to look ahead to the event, with the help of Chevrolet driver Rob Huff.

He is currently lying in fifth place overall this year, having won one race in Valencia and finished second in the other - he's what you'd call a "thoroughly good bloke".

He's 28, living in Newmarket in Suffolk where he's recently moved into his newly done-up house, and is probably one of the most chilled-out guys you'll ever meet.

You can tell he's a boy racer, though - whenever he's not away with WTCC, he's playing around with mini-motocross bikes and karts near his home.

"World Touring Cars is basically a series of 24 races in 12 different countries," Rob explains.

"It's the same scoring as Formula One - with 10 points for a win, eight points for second place and so on."

Success ballast

But the thing about F1 is that races and championships are often decided by the quality of the car, rather than the talent of the driver. Thankfully there's a solution.

"We have two main differences to Formula One - firstly there's success ballast… that basically means the fastest drivers on one weekend get given a weight penalty for the following one, so that the racing stays competitive.

Rob Huff
Rob is currenly fifth overall in this year's championship

"The other thing we do is reverse the grid from the first race to the second on any given weekend."

So let's put this into action, shall we?

Instead of Rob's Chevy (285 brake horsepower, weighs just over a tonne - it's a monster), we're mocking it up using go-karts around a track.

It's a mini-version of the Indy circuit at Brands - a straight three-lap race to start off with, then reverse the grid and give the slower driver from the first race a head-start in the second.

Garrido vs Huff

As expected, Rob is quicker off the mark, while my racing lines are all over the place and I'm constantly losing my back end trying to keep up.

After a couple of spins and a frankly rubbish attempt to make up ground, Rob takes the chequered flag six-and-a-half seconds ahead.

Second-time around, I'm off burning a mean pace on lap one and Rob stands casually, arms folded, and watches before setting off himself.

Perhaps the pressure has got to me - I've got a decent margin - somehow I keep hold of most of it until lap three, but I can sense him all over the back of my kart and true to form, I bottle it.

I'm facing the wrong way, Rob skips round me like Cristiano Ronaldo past a Derby defender and despite flooring it, I finish second. Again.

So how does Rob rate of my chances of ever becoming a World Touring Car driver? "I'd just give up, mate."

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