LADA’s World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) boss Victor Shapovalov says he is ‘proud’ of the team’s efforts in the 2015 season, hailing the introduction of the Vesta as a ‘hue step forward’ for the team.
With its third new car in as many seasons the Russian manufacturer was always going to be playing catch-up with the rest of the field in 2015.
Whilst the team might have failed to emulate its two victories from the 2014 season, there were still two podium finishes to celebrate with Rob Huff and three visits to Q3, demonstrating the car’s raw pace.
“It has been a successful year for the launch of the Vesta in WTCC with much to be proud of for the new car, the team, engineers, designers and drivers as a whole,” summarised Shapovalov. “The car has been a huge step forward for the brand and we look forward to making bigger steps to towards the front in WTCC in 2016”.
Lead driver Rob Huff acknowledged the steps forward that the team have made, with the Brit ending the season as the only driver who started the year with the team.
“Overall it’s been an improving year for the team and the Vesta though there is still a lot of work to do to get the car regularly to the front and challenging for wins,” said Huff. “I am sure, we can make it, and the next season will be very successful.”
Dutchman Nicky Catsburg joined the team for the round at the Moscow Raceway, replacing Russian driver Mikhail Kozlovskiy. The GT racer turned out to be one of the qualifying surprises of the season, making it through to Q3 on three out of eight occasions.
“It’s been a great introduction to touring car racing for me this year and it was a year of highs and lows for sure,” said Catsburg, who finished the year 12th overall in the driver’s standings. “I would like to thank the team for the opportunity to race for LADA Sport Rosneft this season and hope to join the team in WTCC again next year.”
LADA plan to introduce the Vesta to European markets in 2016, giving the team added impetus to improve their performances in the car’s second season in the WTCC.