The LADA Sport Lukoil team enjoyed a positive test at the Hungaroring this week, ahead of the World Touring Car Championship races at the Slovakiaring near Bratislava this weekend.
The Russian team stayed at the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest, along with Honda and ROAL Motorsport, to carry out further testing of their new TC1 Granta Sport.
Former champion Rob Huff feels that the test yielded positive results for the team, with both Huff and team-mate James Thompson improving their lap times from the previous weekend of racing.
“Testing was very useful; I feel we made some good improvements with the car,” said Huff. “We also found some more things to work on, but this is what testing is for. We have to be very pleased with the results. We improved our lap time by over a second compared to our performances last weekend in Hungary and I’m excited to try the new developments in Slovakia.”
Despite the positive test, Huff added that this weekend will still prove to be difficult due to the nature of the Slovakiaring – which contains a mixture of both fast and slow corners around a very long lap.
“Regarding the Slovakia Ring, I should say it’s a fantastic circuit,” added Huff. “In fact, it’s probably the hardest track for the balance and setup of the car. It has almost every type of corner – fast, slow, tight and long corners – and it’s really tough for front-wheel-drive cars. We have to find the best possible balance.”
Thompson was also in action during the week between the two central European events, and the Brit hopes to be able to build on the experience gained at the circuit last season.
“It’s really nice to have had an opportunity to clock up some mileage at the Hungaroring and knowing that we will be testing again later next week in Slovakia,” said Thompson. “We are trying new solutions and I hope they will help in the next two races at the Slovakia Ring, as it’s such a challenging track with a very interesting mix of slow, medium and fast corners.
“We really struggled there last year, as it was the team’s first visit to the circuit and we didn’t have the opportunity to test prior to the event. It should be better for us this time and I’m aiming to make it into the top ten.”
Mikhail Kozlovskiy was unable to complete many laps during testing at the Hungaroring as a result of damage caused when his engine overheated in the races on Sunday.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t complete many laps during testing because my car wasn’t’ ready yet,” said Kozlovskiy. “We have changed the engine for my car and hopefully I will be more successful in Slovakia than in Hungary.
“The test session was useful, as we discussed a lot of things with the engineers, and I am sure all of the new ideas will have a positive effect on the Granta’s pace”.