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LADA disappointed with China qualifying

LADA were left disappointed with their qualifying performance in qualifying for the World Touring Car Championship in China, with drivers James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy qualifying in 14th and 21st respectively.

Thompson had earlier been ninth and fourth fastest in first and second practice respectively, and was therefore disappointed to miss out on entry into Q2 for the fifth time this season.

“I have to say that I’m pretty disappointed by our performance in qualifying: the simply car wasn’t as quick as we expected, even though we were just a tenth of a second off the top 12,” said Thompson. “One of the big problems was that our new set of tyres didn’t allow us to improve in the way that we wanted.

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“Now we’re analysing all the data carefully and hopefully we’ll have better pace tomorrow. So far it’s been a very good learning experience for next season, when we’ll be able to come back to this tricky circuit with a bit of prior knowledge, which is very important.”

Kozlovskiy also struggled in qualifying, although the young Russian had not been higher than 18th fastest all day. The 24-year-old struggled to improve his time on his third set of tyres, leaving him 1.788 seconds off the pace.

“It was tough in the morning but at least we were able to improve in Q1,” said Kozlovskiy. “It still wasn’t enough though, as we wanted to qualify a bit higher up the grid to be honest. We managed to improve our lap times with the first two sets of tyres, but it wasn’t ideal with the third set.”

The Russian also admitted to having problems in traffic, with many drivers aiming to secure a slipstream for the 1 km straight at the fast Shanghai circuit.

“I was overtaking but then I get boxed in at the first series of corners, which cost me the chance to improve: even though thankfully we didn’t actually lose any time,” added Kozlovskiy.

“After all the running we completed yesterday and today, I feel a lot more comfortable at this very challenging track now.”

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