LADA GETS SET FOR BRNO ENCOUNTER The FIA World Touring Car Championship now heads to the historic Brno circuit this weekend for rounds 11 and 12 of the series in the Czech Republic. For the LADA Sport team, this weekend marks a momentous...
LADA GETS SET FOR BRNO ENCOUNTER
The FIA World Touring Car Championship now heads to the historic Brno circuit this weekend for rounds 11 and 12 of the series in the Czech Republic.
For the LADA Sport team, this weekend marks a momentous occasion, as it will be the last appearance in competition for the current LADA 110 2.0 touring car, which will be replaced by the new Priora model on the next round in Portugal.
Even though the current car is very shortly to be replaced, it has still recently benefitted from a raft of engine developments that have increased the total power output by around 20bhp and have also improved the car's straight line speed.
At 5.4 kilometres, the Brno circuit is the second-longest track that the WTCC visits all year, after Macau. It is a quick track with some rapid direction changes and a sweeping series of bends, making it a favourite amongst the drivers. The Brno circuit is located in a natural bowl, offering spectators excellent views of the track. The track keeps changing elevation as it sweeps across forested hillsides, and its 14 fast rising and falling corners are a genuine challenge to all the competitors.
Once more, Russia's biggest car manufacturer will be represented on the FIA WTCC by the usual line-up of Jaap Van Lagen (n.18), Kirill Ladygin (n.19) and Viktor Shapovalov (n.20).
The drivers will take to the track for the first time in the Czech Republic with two half-hour free practice sessions on Saturday morning, before qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Race one in Brno takes place at 12:50 (local time) on Sunday and is expected to last just over half an hour before race two gets underway at 15:05. As usual all the races will be broadcast live on Eurosport: Europe's largest television channel.
Dutch driver Jaap Van Lagen was unlucky on the last round in Spain and is aiming for a more positive weekend in the Czech Republic. "Brno is a fantastic circuit and there is always a great atmosphere there," he said. "We had some interesting evolutions on the car already for the last round in Spain and while they seemed promising, circumstances dictated that we could not really use them to their full potential. Hopefully in Brno we will be able to have a clean run and really see their full effect."
Russia's Kirill Ladygin commented: "I'm looking forward to this weekend a lot. In Morocco I scored the best ever result for LADA and as always I would like to improve on that. Brno is a power circuit so I'm not sure how easy this will be but naturally we will be trying our best. The current LADA 110 touring car has served us well, so it would be nice to give it an appropriate send-off!"
Viktor Shapovalov drives the third Lada 110 2.0 but is also the team principal of the Russian squad. He concluded: "We've been impressed by the speed that the latest engine modifications on the car have given us but it's clear that we need to work harder on reliability. This weekend on such a challenging track will be the perfect opportunity for us to assess the progress we have made so far, as we look forward to the debut of our new car in Portugal. The potential is clear to see, but we need to keep working very hard in order to succeed."