Lada eyes third car in 2014 World Touring Car Championship expansion
|By Sam Tremayne||Wednesday, September 18th 2013, 15:15 GMT|
Lada is planning to expand to a three-car operation for the second full year of its new factory World Touring Car Championship programme.
The Russian marque has run two cars for its WTCC return this year, with James Thompson being joined by Mikhail Kozlovskiy, who took over from Aleksei Dudukalo after the first round at Monza.
While it has to cope with the demands of building an entirely new car for 2014, Lada is also planning run a third works Granta next season.
"We will have two cars minimum, but we are working on a solution for a third car as well," team principal Viktor Shapovalov told AUTOSPORT.
"We have the challenge of building an absolutely new car for next year, but we will also be able to take a lot from this year, so it is manageable."
Shapovalov said he expects Lada's new car to be ready to run for the first time early next year.
"We have already tested a lot of 2014 decisions on the current car, but the fully new car I think will come in around February," he said.
"Everything is in parallel - the design, the windtunnel testing, the build. We are in progress."
He added that he hopes to pair Thompson and Kozlovskiy again next year, although the latter's place in the team will be decided by sponsor Lukoil.
"James for sure will be with us next year, Mikhail depends on Lukoil," he explained.
"I hope to keep him, because for him the second year should be much better because he has more experience.
"It is a difficult championship, and a young driver needs around three years to be quick."