Rob Huff and double British Touring Car Champion James Thompson, were special guests at the Moscow International Automobile Salon.
LADA officially unveiled its new LADA Vesta FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) contender at the 2014 Moscow International Automobile Salon (28 August).
The Russian manufacturer also introduced its new sponsor for the 2015-2017 WTCC campaigns. ROSNEFT petroleum company and JSC AVTOVAZ (LADA) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation Development, LADA President Bo Andersson and ROSNEFT President Igor Sechin both putting their signatures on the document.
Current LADA drivers, 2012 World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff and double British Touring Car Champion James Thompson, were special guests at the Moscow International Automobile Salon and had the honour of unveiling the new yellow and black-liveried WTCC challenger, based on LADA’s new Vesta model, which is due to go into production in September 2015.
Compared to its predecessor and LADA’s current WTCC racer, the Granta, the new Vesta’s size and parameters are very different, its larger wheelbase and more efficient aerodynamics giving it a great deal of promise as a competitive touring car racer.
Bo Andersson, LADA President: “I am a great supporter of our racing activities. Today AVTOVAZ focuses on competition on the world market and it focuses on teamwork, and racing is all about competition and teamwork. If we are successful in WTCC, it will help us to sell road cars to the public!”
Steve Mattin, LADA Chief Designer, said: “What we see here at Moscow Motor Show is quite close to the definitive version, as we only took little styling liberties. Now begins the implementation phase, where we will optimize everything in a stage that includes wind-tunneling, development and testing. It’s going to be another adrenalin-fuelled process, as the start of the 2015 season is only six months away, but we are extremely confident. We completed the Vesta WTCC at the studio the very day that Rob Huff took LADA’s first WTCC podium finish in Argentina. A coincidence, but we take this as a very good sign!”
Under the contract with ROSNEFT, the parties will jointly embark on motor racing programmes with LADA cars in both the World and Russian Touring Car Championships in 2015-2017.
This memorandum is a logical development of the strategic partnership between AVTOVAZ and ROSNEFT, who in 2012 signed a long-term co-operation agreement. Today, ROSNEFT is a key AVTOVAZ supplier of high-quality oils, petroleum and diesel fuels. It is also a partner in the development of new lubricant oils.
Starting in 2015, the relationship between LADA and ROSNEFT will enter a new chapter, with the LADA Vesta WTCC embarking on an exciting journey that will see it take on some of the world’s toughest and most prestigious motorsport venues while competing at the pinnacle of international touring car racing.
Until the end of this season, LADA Sport will continue to participate in the WTCC and Russian Racing Series with LUKOIL and LADA Granta Sport cars. AVTOVAZ expresses its gratitude to LUKOIL for years of success during a long-standing partnership. This co-operation brought many wins in the Russian Championship and a first ever LADA podium in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.