LADA has officially confirmed its withdrawal from the World Touring Car Championship in a meeting of the Russian Motorsport Forum at the Moscow Raceway, whilst also affirming plans to build two Vesta TCR cars to compete in TCR Russia.
The manufacturer had been expected to announce its withdrawal from the WTCC after recent reports in the Russian media, and the news that it had released drivers Nicky Catsburg, Gabriele Tarquini and Hugo Valente from their WTCC contracts.
Speaking to Russian media at the Forum, Alexander Bredikhin, Marketing Director for LADA’s parent company AvtoVaz, said that the marque had achieved its goals in the WTCC.
“The team’s results allow us to conclude that, in principle, the goals that we set ourselves, taking part in the WTCC championship, we have achieved,” said Bredikhin according to Autosport.com.ru.
“We have prepared the cars to a very high technical level and gained valuable experience. This experience can be used in other competitions.
“Thus, the 2016 season will be the last year of Lada Sport’s participation in the World Touring Car Championship. Starting next year, we are working with our partners to change the concept of the racing program, focusing on the Russian competition.”
Bredikhin also confirmed that the brand will now focus on building a pair of Vesta TCR cars, which can crucially be campaigned in the Russian domestic market in TCR Russia.
“We had a choice: to continue to participate in the WTCC or focus on something else. We chose the latter.”
LADA leave the WTCC having enjoyed their best-ever season, including a pair of famous victories on home soil in Russia in June.