James Thompson encouraged by Lada WTCC test

James Thompson believes Lada has made significant progress with its 2013 World Touring Car Championship challenger

James Thompson encouraged by Lada WTCC test

The Briton gave the Granta its first shakedown of 2013 at Magny-Cours and reported afterward that Lada had improved in several areas, particularly the chassis balance and top speed.

Thompson raced the Granta twice last year at the Hungaroring and the Algarve, with a best finish of 11th.

"I am very satisfied with the speed and performance of the car and the steps forward that have been taken since our long test in August," Thompson said.

"I think we have worked very hard with our Granta to maximise its strengths and minimise any weak points.

"In particular we focused on the chassis balance and speed on the long straights, and moved a step forward compared to the car we had one year ago.

"It is quite important, as the championship visits many high speed circuits.

"This updated variant of the car gives hopes for better overall performance, especially in the race."

Team principal Victor Shapovalov added that Thompson'd feedback on the "seriously developed" Granta would be "crucial for us to understand in which areas we need some more improvement."

Lada will test again at Magny-Cours on February 25-28, when Thompson's new team-mate Aleksei Dudukalo will also be present.

Honda also continues development

Honda was also testing its WTCC Civic this week, with a three-day programme at the Aragon circuit in Spain.

Tiago Monteiro covered over 1,200km of testing and the Portuguese was also delighted with the team's progress.

"We have made a step forward and I am very pleased with the progress," he said.

"To date, this has been the most productive test. We are on the right track, but we have no way of comparing it with our competitors because we were the only ones on track in Aragon.

"But the figures and references we have indicate that we are more competitive."

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Author Sam Tremayne
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