The LADA Sport Lukoil team left the Salzburgring having secured their best finish of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship season.
After the grid ahead of race one was confirmed after the penalties from the second part of qualifying, James Thompson in the #10 LADA Granta lined up 8th and secured a ninth place finish to score two Championship points.
“I’m satisfied with the results for our team this weekend,” said the 2002 and 2004 British Touring Car Championship Champion.
“We scored points in the drivers’ championship and were fastest in the warm-up. However even the ninth place we took in Race One doesn’t fully reflect the potential speed of our car. I had some contact with one of the drivers and broke the front suspension, so my main goal in the second part of the race was just to finish it.”
The second race of the weekend saw Thompson line up 17th on the grid but he worked his way up the order to finish 12th. He showed the speed of the Granta as he posted the second fastest lap of the race, only bettered by the Chevrolet Cruze of Yvan Muller.
“In Race Two I started from 17th on the grid but managed to overtake some of our competitors, although it was very difficult. But we still did it and even set the second-fastest lap in the race,” added Thompson.
Team-mate Mikhail Kozlovskiy inherited a second row starting position for the opening race after all of the penalties – 4th on the grid marked his and the LADA Sport Lukoil’s best ever WTCC race starting position – he was unable to convert his grid position into a points paying finish though as he finished 16th, before a 15th place finish in the second race.
“In Race Two the car was stable from start to finish, as we can all see from the timesheets,” said the 23 year old Russian.
“But it was a bit hard to keep pace with some of the other cars on the long straights. On the whole, Race Two was not bad. I managed to improve my starting position and for a while I was in the top 12. All the drivers were very close at the end: the top 16 cars were covered by just 16 seconds.
“Looking at the times we were quite competitive and I’m very happy about that. I had a few good battles with the other drivers and we were also able to take the fight to other manufacturers. The LADA Granta had good pace: this was a track that definitely suited us and allowed us to show it,” he concluded.