LADA Sport LUKOIL team prepares for the challenge of Portugal

LADA Sport LUKOIL team prepares for the challenge of Portugal

27.06.2013: The LADA Sport LUKOIL team will take part in round seven of the FIA World Touring Car Championship


The LADA Sport LUKOIL team will take part in round seven of the FIA World Touring Car Championship this weekend in Portugal from June 29-30. The race will take place at the Boavista circuit in Porto, towards the north of the country.

This picturesque city, a popular tourist destination, is also famous and historic venue for LADA as it was here in 2009 that James Thompson made his debut for the LADA Sport team at the wheel of a LADA Priora. Four years, later the British driver is back, together with his young Russian team mate Mikhail Kozlovskiy. Their mission? To come home with some points in the latest LADA Granta WTCC challenger.

But for ‘Tommo’, this isn’t the first time out in Portugal with a LADA Granta. Last year he drove in the Portimao WTCC race: effectively a test outing for LADA as the Russian squad prepared for a complete season in 2013. And the potential was clear to see from the start.

Porto’s street circuit will host the WTCC round for the fourth time this year. In fact the city has a long and illustrious history in motorsport. Originally the Boavista circuit was used for Portugal’s Formula One Grand Prix in 1958, which ran right through the heart of the city.

Previous winners include legends such as Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham. Nearly 50 years later a slightly shortened version of the track was revived and now it hosts the FIA WTCC every two years.

On the last occasion in 2011 more than 140,000 spectators turned up to see the race over the course of the weekend: proof of the passion that Portuguese fans have for motorsport. The total track length is now 4800 metres, providing a brilliant challenge for the WTCC competitors through the stunning cityscape.

As usual there will be two races, with each one lasting 11 laps. The challenge at the Circuito da Boavista will be similar to that seen on most street circuits with the drivers needing to deliver maximum concentration and total accuracy from start to finish. With blind corners and minimal run-off, street circuits always have their own distinct character that provides a revealing test for both man and machine.

According the championship rules, the drivers will be able to take advantage of extended qualifying sessions on Saturday: Q1 will last for 30 minutes with Q2 lasting for 15 minutes.

James Thompson said:
“Street circuits are never easy to overtake on, so the main task will be to secure a good qualifying result and make sure that we are as close to the front of the grid as possible for both races. As we were able to see from the latest round in Moscow, we’re in good shape now and I think we’re going to be able to keep on securing some top results in future.

I know Porto a bit as I raced here with the LADA Priora four years ago at the start of our adventure together. Now I’m really excited to be back again with a new and more competitive car: the LADA Granta. I’m just really looking forward to the weekend ahead.”

Mikhail Kozlovskiy:
“This is a quite a fast lap. But as it’s a street circuit, some tactics such as slipstreaming aren’t really going to work efficiently: it’s not really feasible or practical. You can’t really hit the same sort of top speeds as you can on the permanent circuits, but that doesn’t make it any less of a challenge.

I’m still feeling confident though! Boavista is not new to me, I raced here in 2011 in European Production Series.”

Both races can be seen online on Eurosport:

Saturday 29 June: Eurosport 2 – qualifying at 1500 (local time)

Sunday 30 June: Eurosport – Race 1 at 1100 (local time) Race 2 at 1645 (local time)

Svetlana Lysyakova- photos Lada


27.06.2013 / MaP

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