LADA Granta heading to Hungary
The WTCC Race of Hungary will mark the comeback to the world championship of Avtovaz, Russia’s leading car manufacturer, with one LADA Granta Sport car driven by James Thompson.
Three years after their first participation in the WTCC – back in 2008 and 2009 with the 110 and Priora models – the LADA Sport team will take part in this year’s events at the Hungaroring and Portimao with the aim of evaluating a possible full season programme in 2013.
The WTCC Granta Sport car has been designed and built at LADA Sport and is powered by a 1.6-litre turbo engine developed in France by ORECA.
Thompson, twice a British Touring Car Champion and winner of four WTCC races, rejoins the team after he scored LADA’s first WTCC points with the Priora at Imola in 2009.
The team are currently based at ORECA workshop in Magny-Cours, preparing the car for the first test just before leaving to Hungary.
Team Principal Victor Shapovalov said: "We are all very excited at the eve of the first test and the first races. We are pleased to return to WTCC.
"The car looks nice and we expect it to be competitive. ORECA have just finished testing the engine on the bench and it looks strong and powerful.
"Unfortunately the project kicked off only in January; we work in a very tight schedule, and don't have the possibility to make a proper test programme prior to the first races."
LADA Sport’s face a double commitment at the Hungaroring, because the Granta Cup makes its international debut appearing as a support series to the WTCC event.
The Granta Cup car is the little sister of the WTCC machine, both are powered by a 1.6-litre turbo engine that delivers 240 and 310 bhp respectively.