LADA UPBEAT DESPITE DIFFICULT QUALIFYING SESSION IN MEXICO The LADA Sport team has endured a tricky qualifying session at Puebla, Mexico, for the second round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. All free practice session were used to...
LADA UPBEAT DESPITE DIFFICULT QUALIFYING SESSION IN MEXICO
The LADA Sport team has endured a tricky qualifying session at Puebla, Mexico, for the second round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
All free practice session were used to find the correct set up for the cars and due to the high altitude of the circuit (more than 2000m) the engine mapping also had to be adjusted to compensate for the thin air. Despite these difficulties at the notoriously tricky track, the team is feeling upbeat in preparation for the two races tomorrow, after a successful debut as a registered manufacturer two weeks ago at the opening round in Brazil.
Conditions in Mexico were dry, warm and windy throughout today's qualifying session, which will determine the grid for race one. The grid for race two will be established by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight reversed.
The Lada 110 2.0 driven by Dutchman Jaap van Lagen (n.18) set 15th fastest time in free practice this morning, giving a true indication of the car's potential. When it came to qualifying though, he was set back by a minor problem that nonetheless compromised his session.
Van Lagen explained: "A cooling hose came loose in the radiator, and sprayed cold water onto my tyres. I suddenly felt the car sliding, so I knew that there was something wrong and that there was no possibility of a good result. I had to come into the pits, and so it was game over. It was a pity as I felt we really had potential, as our earlier time showed. The good news is that now the car is fixed and we will just have to go flat-out tomorrow in the race, which will be good fun!"
The other two cars, driven by Russians Kirill Ladygin (n.19) and Viktor Shapovalov (n.20), also struggled to find the appropriate set-up for the circuit, which was completely new to the LADA Sport team. After some hard work during free practice and qualifying, aiming to optimise suspension set-up for the peculiarities of Puebla, the drivers are well-prepared for the challenge of tomorrow's two races.
Kirill Ladygin said: "We've got a lot to learn but we are going to enjoy ourselves. It is not easy to find the right set-up for the circuit, but we are getting there and finding out more all the time. Tomorrow we will just try and do the best job possible."
His compatriot and team mate Viktor Shapovalov, who also runs the LADA Sport team, added: "It's all part of the game of starting here for the first time. We're just learning. The team worked hard and we kept looking for the best solutions. It's a learning process we have to go through and we realise that we have a long way to go to be competitive. But I'm happy we got the set-up right and at the end the car felt really good. We will see what happens tomorrow!"
Tomorrow race 1 is scheduled at 12h20 local time (19h20 CET) and race 2 at 15h50 local time (22h50 CET) and both races can entirely been seen on Eurosport.