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LADA replaces Mikhail Kozlovskiy with Nicky Catsburg for Moscow

LADA Sport have confirmed their driver line-up for the forthcoming World Touring Car Championship meeting in Moscow, with Rob Huff being joined by Jaap van Lagen and Nicky Catsburg.

Dutchman Catsburg has experience racing in primarily GT machinery, having competed in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the Germany-based VLN. The 27-year-old has also raced in the European Le Mans Series and the Dutch GT Championship, in which he finished third overall in 2012.

Catsburg has already completed his first laps in the Vesta WTCC car at Magny-Cours, where the Russian team are based.

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“The Lada Vesta WTCC car is something completely new to me,” said Catsburg. “The first laps during the test in Magny-Cours were a big surprise; this car really requires a specific driving style with all that power on the front-axle.

“Once I got some more laps in, I started to get used to the car and the driving style, and really started to enjoy driving this car. Braking and the car’s performance at high speed were very impressive.”

LADA thus return to a three-car operation for the Russian meeting, having axed former drivers James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy as they look to move up the grid and become a series front-running operation.

”I am really looking forward to this completely new challenge for me,” added Catsburg. “The race will of course be difficult, but with the help of the team and my experienced teammates I am sure we can do well.

“The Moscow WTCC round is obviously an important one to LADA and our main sponsor Rosneft, it is a real pleasure to share this event with them. I have looked at several on-boards from the Moscow Raceway Circuit and it looks very technical, I can’t wait to get started!”

In Germany, Huff raced Kozlovskiy’s car at the Nürburgring, whilst Van Lagen drove Thompson’s chassis. All three chassis have now been repaired following their shunts in Marrakech and at the Hungaroring. TouringCars.Net understands that no decision has been made on whether Huff will again run Kozlovskiy’s chassis, or whether he will drive his own re-built one.

LADA are expected to make further announcements on their driver line-up for the rest of the season following the Russian round in early June, with the marque now engaged in an on-going driver evaluation process.

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