LADA TO MAKE THREE-CAR PRIORA DEBUT AT OSCHERSLEBEN Lada Sport will take to the track with three examples of the brand-new Priora for the first time on the latest round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship this weekend, at the German...
LADA TO MAKE THREE-CAR PRIORA DEBUT AT OSCHERSLEBEN
Lada Sport will take to the track with three examples of the brand-new Priora for the first time on the latest round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship this weekend, at the German circuit of Oschersleben.
Following a six-week summer break, the Belgian-based team has had the opportunity to build more examples of the new Priora, which replaces the Lada 110, for all three of its drivers. The car recently undertook a test session at the Magny-Cours circuit in France that focussed on general development and Lada Sport is now eager to attack the second half of this closely-fought championship.
With lead driver James Thompson unable to take part in the Oschersleben race, due to a previous commitment to compete in the Australian V8 Touring Car series, team principal Viktor Shapovalov will reprise his driving role in car number 20 this weekend. Following his return from Australia, Thompson will then be in the car for the rest of the season. As usual, Dutchman Jaap van Lagen will drive car number 18 and Russia's Kirill Ladygin will be at the wheel of car number 19.
During the summer break, Lada Sport has concentrated on building two new Prioras and developing the chassis and engine. However, with time so tight on the FIA WTCC schedule, most of the testing programme will take in public at the actual races.
The 3.66-kilometre Oschersleben track, in eastern Germany, is located on the site of a former airfield and contains some quick straights together with some tighter corners. This makes it a power circuit that will test the performance of the engines to the limit.
Jaap van Lagen (n.18) is looking forward to Oschersleben after getting his hands on the new Priora for the first time in testing. "It's clearly a car with a lot of potential," he said. "For me, the Oschersleben weekend will be mostly about getting used to the car, but I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do. It should be an exciting race."
Kirill Ladygin (n.19) is also a newcomer to the Priora, which made its debut in Portugal earlier this year with Thompson. "There are quite a few steps made with this car compared with the older 110," said Ladygin. "Of course, it will take a little while for me to be in a position to get the most out of it, so my aim in Germany will be to spend as much time in it as possible."
Viktor Shapovalov (n.20) started this season driving the third Lada but moved aside when Thompson joined in Portugal to concentrate on his team principal role. With Thompson temporarily absent, Shapovalov is relishing the chance to get back behind the wheel. "Of course I've missed driving, so this is a very nice opportunity for me," said the Russian. "I've been out of competition for a couple of months so I might not be up to speed straight away, but I'm certainly going to be trying my hardest."
The Oschersleben weekend kicks off with a free practice session on Saturday 5 September before qualifying from 15:15-15:35. On Sunday 6 September race one takes place at 12:50 and race two begins at 15:05. Both races will take place over 14 laps and as usual the action will be shown live on Eurosport: Europe's largest television channel.
-credit: lada sport