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LADA ‘very pleased’ with Porto results

The LADA Sport Lukoil team secured their best ever points scoring weekend during rounds 13 and 14 of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship from the streets of Porto.

“It was a very positive weekend for us,” said former WTCC racer and LADA Sport Lukoil Team Principal Victor Shapovalov. “But, I have to say, when you are getting stronger in the championship of such a high level, it’s getting more difficult. The level of the leaders is very high and that sets a certain standard. But we are ready for more persistent work!

“Our optimistic results make our ambitions grow higher. We are ready to fight for the podium this year and I hope that our perfect team work will bring the results!”

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British driver James Thompson placed the #10 LADA Granta 6th in both races to secure 16 Championship points for him and helped LADA to close the gap to Honda in the Manufacturers Championship.

Thompson was able to challenge for a podium position during the final race of the European WTCC campaign before losing positions in the closing laps but despite the loss of positions in the closing laps he is happy with how the weekend went.

“I’m really happy with the weekend,” explains the Yorkshireman. “It was the best for us in terms of the points. The rounds in Moscow, where we were fifth and here, where we finished sixth in both races, showed that we are already ahead of our goals for the season.

“Initially we planned to be consistently in the middle of the grid and in the top 10, but now we feel strong enough to be close to top five in each race. This round was not easy: the street circuit, hot temperatures – almost extreme conditions. In race two, I had to fight hard through the whole race,” he added.

Team-mate Mikhail Kozlovskiy had a tougher weekend as he failed to qualify after an accident in free practice. He recovered to finish 19th in both races.

“Starting from the last position in the race on a street circuit is not good for making strong results,” the Russian driver said. “Nevertheless, I was able to fight and make some overtaking moves. In the first race, there were some problems with the braking. Before race two, we changed brake pads, shock absorbers and some other parts. The car started to perform better under braking; we could see this from the lap times.

“The circuit is not simple; the first and the second corners were the hardest for me. It was difficult to accelerate on the exits from these corners. We have to analyse the telemetry data to understand the situation. Hopefully in at the next round in Argentina, I will be able to have better results,” he concluded.

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