Nicky Catsburg, currently fighting for second overall in the World Touring Car Championship standings, believes that victory is possible for LADA in this weekend’s races in Argentina.
Catsburg has already taken one win and five podiums so far in the 2016 season, and now the Dutchman expects to be strong at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit near Santiago del Estero in Argentina.
The Dutchman once again believes that wet weather is more likely to favour the Vesta WTCC, but admits that the team should be stronger also in the dry, following recent summer testing.
“This track suits our car if you look at last year,” said Catsburg, who has never previously raced at the track. “This year we have made a lot of improvements to the car and personally I have a lot of expectations.
“We have to wait for the weather. If it rains, we can be stronger than in the dry. But we’re really looking forward to scoring some podiums.
“I definitely think [victory is possible]. In the last couple of races, we’ve consistently shown we’ve been strong enough to fight for the podium.
“In the little break we’ve had we’ve continuously developed the car and found more speed. Whether it’s rain or dry, we’re strong enough to fight for the podium and perhaps even a win.”
Reflecting on the first half of the season, Catsburg added that the team’s progress had met his expectations, with the targets for the second half of the year having been set correspondingly higher.
“We have very ambitious goals,” he added. “I am very pleased with the first half of the season; we have scored many podiums and even performed well with 70 kg of ballast.
“We are now third in the championship and obviously we are all happy with this. We had a good test session at Motorland Aragon in mid-July and we hope that some improvements we’ve made will allow us to be even stronger.”
LADA will also be 20 kg lighter than in their last WTCC outing, with the cars carrying 50 kg of compensation weight in Argentina – with only the Chevrolet RML cars and the Volvos lighter.