LADA Sport LUKOIL determined to continue upward trend in WTCC's Race of Hungary
LADA Sport LUKOIL will look to continue on an upward trend in Round 3 of the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at the picturesque Hungaroring near Budapest (3-4 May).
The Hungaroring circuit is situated among exceptional natural beauty approximately 19km from the centre of the majestic city of Budapest, perched in rolling hills that provide spectators with sensational views of the on-track action.
Hungarian fans flock to the circuit in their droves in support of home hero Norbert Michelisz, while many fervently follow the endeavours of LADA Sport LUKOIL and its drivers – Rob Huff, James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy – to create perhaps the most vibrant and intoxicating atmosphere of the WTCC season.
After a character-building start to its 2014 WTCC campaign, LADA Sport LUKOIL is ceaselessly working to refine its trio of LADA Granta TC1s, ironing out early teething problems that have arisen through a lack of pre-season testing.
Huff, the latest arrival to the LADA Sport LUKOIL camp, beat the odds and the competition in inferior machinery to take an emphatic win in last year’s Race of Hungary and hopes to replicate that success in 2014.
The 2012 WTCC Champion arrives in Hungary off the back of a solid fifth-place result in the most recent round of the WTCC at Circuit Paul Ricard and said: “Last year I went into the weekend in Budapest with very low expectations and still managed to come away with one of the best race wins of my career in the WTCC, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can achieved with the new LADA Granta TC1. Of course, a win would be a tall order, but it would be very satisfying if we could punch above our weight and mix it with the guys at the front, just like we did in France.”
For James Thompson, the Race of Hungary is a personal highlight, purely because of the electrifying ambience created by the passionate Hungarian fans, although he remains cautious about his prospects for the forthcoming weekend.
“The Race of Hungary at the Hungaroring is by far the best-supported event of the year and there’s always an incredible atmosphere,” said Thompson. “It’s my favourite event of the season because there is always a lot of support for LADA Sport LUKOIL and the circuit is cracking – I thoroughly enjoy racing on it. The team has shown little glimpses of form and it’s fantastic that Mikhail (Kozlovskiy) and Rob (Huff) have equalled LADA’s best-ever finishes in the WTCC with a fifth-place each so early on in the season. There are still some fundamental problems with the car but I’m optimistic that we can pull off some more solid results if things go our way.”
Mikhail Kozlovskiy, who achieved a career-best fifth place in Morocco’s season-opener, said: "I’m already familiar with the Hungaroring, as I drove the LADA Granta there last year. The circuit’s layout is very interesting and it has some long corners, which require a good balance. In the previous season we faced some difficulties in the long corners because our Granta is quite a small car and we felt the lack of balance and stability prevented us from maximising our potential in Hungary and also Slovakia.
“However, due to the changes in the WTCC’s technical rules, the Granta is much wider and has a new and more efficient aero package that will surely help to improve the performance. I look forward to seeing how the new Granta TC1 will perform at the Hungaroring."
For more information on LADA Sport LUKOIL, please visit the official wtcc.lada.ru website, 'like' the team's Facebook page or follow @ladasportlukoil on Twitter.