The Termas de Rio Hondo track in Argentina hosted the first day of the WTCC weekend with qualifying on Saturday 3 August. LADA Sport LUKOIL drivers James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy qualified in 12th and 18th places respectively.
Unfortunately it was an unlucky day for Mikhail Kozlovskiy, whose qualifying results were cancelled for breaching parc ferme regulations, where any work on the car is forbidden. Mikhail will start both races from last position.
James Thompson said:” This is a very interesting track. It’s the same overall length as Porto – 4.8 kilometres – but the layout is very different and the track is extremely wide. The surface is a bit slippery as the track hasn’t been used for some time and there’s some dust on the surface too. So we’re expecting a nice fight. I’m a bit disappointed with our result so far as we’ve been consistently in the top 10 during free practice.
I think we had one or two small technical or set-up problems in qualifying because the car was actually slower than it had been in the morning. But I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of this before the actual races.
Anyway, we need to look at the positives: we’re consistently in Q2 now and I’m actually pretty optimistic about tomorrow’s race. There are plenty of overtaking opportunities and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into them from the very beginning!”
Mikhail Kozlovskiy added: “Of course I’m disappointed by the results from qualifying, but now I must concentrate on tomorrow’s race and use all the opportunities that this track presents. It’s very wide and fast and I think we can use various tactics to make up some positions here.
I feel very confident at this circuit, as in Free Practice 2 I was 12th, which shows our potential. I think we will be able to fight for some positions and overtake tomorrow, despite not starting from a great position.”