Van Lagen thrilled with fourth for Lada
|By Steven English||Saturday, September 5th 2009, 14:48 GMT|
Jaap van Lagen is delighted to have qualified his Lada Priora on the second row of the grid, but says he would settle for a points finish in tomorrow's first World Touring Car race at Oschersleben.
The Dutchman made the perfect tactical calls during today's wet qualifying session, setting a quick lap right at the start of Q1 as the rain got heavier and then choosing slicks for Q2 to claim fourth on the grid.
He is driving the new car for the first time this weekend with the team bringing three of the models to Germany. Previously, James Thompson drove the only Priora at Porto and Brands Hatch.
Van Lagen accepts that the second row start isn't on the car's true pace, and is just targeting a top eight finish in tomorrow's first race.
"I was hoping to have a good start in the new car but of course I didn't expect that it would be this good," van Lagen told AUTOSPORT. "Ok, it is a fortunate position but we made the right decisions and I was on the right tyres at the best time.
"I'm sure in the race there will be BMWs and SEATs coming from behind wondering what the Lada is doing ahead of them. I would just like to score points, if we can do that we will be happy. Maybe I can finish eighth, score a point and get the first pole for a Lada as well!"
Despite the conditions helping Lada to qualify fourth, the car has shown an improved pace throughout the weekend and van Lagen says it is progressing well.
"We have had some small problems with the car this weekend but when it is running well my pace can be between 10th and 15th, which is progress," he added. "We had a good test last week at Magny-Cours and, now that we have three Prioras running, it is getting faster all the time."