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LADA drivers given factory tour in Togliatti

LADA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) drivers Rob Huff, James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy visited the manufacturer’s factory in Togliatti, Russia this week where they were honoured for their performances in the 2014 season.

All three LADA drivers were given a tour of the facilities by LADA President Bo Andersson, visiting the foundry shop, welding and assembly shops and the production facilities.

LADA will compete with a brand new model, the LADA Vesta, in the 2015 WTCC and Huff, Thompson and Kozlovskiy all had the chance to sit behind the wheel of an early version of the new car, which will not go into production until September 2015.

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For 2014 recruit Huff it was his first visit to the production facilities in Russia and he left with a positive impression of the car company.

“To say that I’m impressed is not enough!,” said former champion Huff. “The scale of the company is just amazing, much more than I expected to see! I was very happy to see the team’s commitment, high technologies and modern production lines.

“The new model line-up, which we saw at the R&D centre, shows the great progress. I was also impressed by LADA Sport production. It’s great that LADA has now a special sports model row for motorsport fans. These cars allow people to feel involvement in motorsport!”

Thompson has previously visited the factory, having been associated with LADA since the 2009 season. The Brit highlighted the importance of the link between race and road going versions of the car.

“I’ve been to LADA several times before,” said Thompson. “The last time I had a factory tour was 2011 and I was pleased with positive changes at that time, but what we saw today is a huge step forward. It’s nice to see that the company continues to work effectively on a new level.

“For a driver in the WTCC, where there is strong link between race cars and road cars, it’s important to see improvements not only in his race car, but in the serial production as well, it gives me even more motivation!”

As a Russian, Kozlovskiy was pleased to receive a warm welcome from the staff at the factory and to see a real version of the new Vesta car.

“We were very pleased to receive such a warm welcome, to feel the support of all our fans, because this support contributes much to the teams’ success,” added Kozlovskiy. “It was very interesting to see a new LADA Vesta – not as a concept that we first saw at the Moscow motor show, but as a real car! I look forward to testing the Vesta racing version in the beginning of 2015. I’m sure it will be a very competitive car!”

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