There are automobile marques you’;d associate with racing and people you would not. Names like Audi, Porsche, Nissan, Ferrari, Ford and Chevy would fall firmly in the former class. Lada… somewhat less so. The Russian automaker is remembered (when it is remembered, anyway) for its no-frills, Soviet-era vehicles – a lot of of which it’;s nonetheless generating these days. Hardly the sort of machinery you’;d want to take to the racetrack, but Lada and its mother or father company AvtoVAZ set out to upset that notion when it entered the World Touring Auto Championship back in 2008. The Rusisan team has nevertheless to score a single podium finish in the 5 years given that, but is aiming to distinguish itself this season with the new Granta TC1.
Replacing the earlier Granta 1600T that was built to the old S2000 specifications, the new Granta TC1 is nevertheless nominally based on the manufacturing Granta, which itself is primarily based on the Kalina that has been in manufacturing for 10 years now. That in fact strikes us as a relatively new architecture for Lada, taking into consideration that the Niva has been around because the 1970s. The quick wheelbase packs a one.6-liter turbo 4 tuned by the racing gurus at Oreca, a identify you may possibly (or may possibly not) understand for operating Toyota’;s existing LMP1 plan, previously fielding the Peugeot 908 or establishing the prior Dodge Viper for competitors.
Lada Sport just took its new tin-prime racer for its first shake-down at the Magny-Cours circuit that employed to host the French Grand Prix, and will take it for a single a lot more before the start off of the season subsequent month in Morocco. Lighter, more aerodynamic and a lot more strong, the new Granta TC1 ought to do a much better job of holding its very own towards the likes of the new Honda Civic WTCC and Citroën C-Elysée (as properly as the new TC1-spec Cruze which Chevy is building) – or at least give 2012 champion Robert Huff and 2-time BTCC champ James Thompson (as nicely as Russian driver Mikhail Kozlovskiy) a fighting chance.
LADA Sport LUKOIL completed initial tests of 2014-spec Granta TC1
LADA Sport LUKOIL examined its brand new LADA Granta TC1 Planet Touring Automobile for the very first time last week (13-14 March), with the team’;s 2 British drivers – Rob Huff and James Thompson – taking the wheel of the new 2014-spec racer at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours.
Dry and sunny circumstances permitted the burgeoning Russian staff to knuckle down and full a full programme of testing and advancement work over the course of the 2 days.
The layout of the historic and evocative Magny-Cours circuit – the former residence of the Formula one French Grand Prix – with its large-speed straights and an eclectic array of corners was the excellent venue for the new generation LADA Granta’;s track debut.
Huff – the 2012 FIA Globe Touring Car Champion – and double British Touring Auto Champion, James Thompson, gave large praise to the amounts of vehicle planning, its increased pace, energy and straight-line performance, as well as its cornering abilities.
LADA Sport LUKOIL Crew Principal Victor Shapovalov commented: “The crew did a fantastic occupation to make a car in compliance with new technical rules. The LADA Granta TC1 is fully various to its predecessor – the 2 in terms of new elements and aspects and in terms of the total technique to car creating from the level of geometry. We broadly used the experiences we acquired during the previous season, but much more flexible technical principles allowed us to make the vehicle much more competitive due to some progressive suspension improvement remedies.
“At the identical time, the benefits of the Granta’;s quick wheelbase are still with us – in specific, its maneuverability. With the advent of the new regulations, we have been ready to remedy some troubles we skilled in 2013, although retaining the core positive aspects of the base vehicle. The new engine, created by LADA Sport LUKOIL’;s spouse ORECA, gives the automobile even much more prospective. In specific, the acceleration at the corner exits has improved considerably. On the complete, the staff is satisfied with the 1st shakedown. The main objective was to guarantee all of the car’;s programs have been doing work in harmony, provided the enormously improved engine and braking overall performance. The first runs confirmed that the team has managed to locate the very best stability of the vehicle.”
LADA Sport LUKOIL will carry out one much more test session before the commence of the 2014 FIA WTCC season, with all 3 drivers – Huff, Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy in attendance.
The season commences on the Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Marrakesh (12-13 April) and LADA Sport LUKOIL can verify that its drivers will run with the following numbers – eleven (James Thompson), 12 (Rob Huff) and 14 (Mikhail Kozlovskiy) – for the duration.