Tarquini set for WTCC reprieve with Lada

Gabriele Tarquini is set to be handed a WTCC reprieve in 2016 with the works Lada squad, where he will join Hugo Valente and Nicky Catsburg.

2009 WTCC champion Tarquini was dropped from Honda's 2016 line-up last month, and it now seems the 53-year-old is set to effectively swap places with 2012 champion Rob Huff.

The Brit is set to join Honda in place of Tarquini for next season, although no announcement has yet been made by either Huff or Honda.

It is also believed that 23-year-old Valente will switch from a privateer Campos Chevrolet drive to a factory deal with Lada, after showing much promise in 2015.

Valente said he is unable to comment on his plans for 2016, other than to say things for this year are "looking better than they were a few weeks ago."

Valente was understood to be approaching teams in the TCR International Series for next year, until the WTCC driver market opened up following Tarquini's departure from Honda.

After a strong debut in the WTCC in the last half of the 2015 with Lada, Dutch driver Catsburg is also set to be retained by the Russian marque, where he will combine his programme with GT racing, driving for Black Swan Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship.

Lada's potential line-up for 2016 is already loaded with intrigue, as Tarquini and Valente had the most memorable off-track spat during 2015, with the Frenchman accusing Tarquini of being 'too old' on his way to the podium in Shanghai after a first lap incident while fighting for the lead.

Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Rob Huff , Gabriele Tarquini , Nicky Catsburg , Hugo Valente
Teams Lada Sport
Article type Breaking news