LADA SPORT ROSNEFT is targeting divine results at ‘The Green Hell’, with the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) returning to the Nürburgring Nordschleife for a second consecutive year (27-28 May).
The Nordschleife is the world’s longest and most demanding racetrack, with a 25.27 km configuration, that officially encompasses 73 corners, inclines of up to 17 percent and several changes in the track surface, so, to win the WTCC’s Race of Germany is no mean feat and Nick Catsburg insists that track knowledge is somewhat overrated.
I have competed in the Nürburgring 24 Hours twice and I have also raced in five VLN events on the Nordschleife, but driving the LADA Vesta TC1 will be very different for me, since I have only raced GT3 cars on the circuit, said Nick Catsburg.
For me, track knowledge is a little overrated, especially in the dry. Having a good car is really important and I won my first race on the Nordschleife primarily because I had strong machinery underneath me and a capable team. I have only completed one wet lap on the track, but I know experience counts for more in those conditions, with so many different types of asphalt.
LADA SPORT ROSNEFT expects representatives from LADA fan clubs in Germany and also German dealers to turn out for the WTCC’s annual visit to the Nürburgring this weekend.
Germany has always been a key market in Western Europe for LADA and the sales were traditionally strong and stable, and, with sales of the new Vesta model booming in Russia, LADA SPORT’s participation in the WTCC Race of Germany is sure to attract a lot of interest among fans of the brand.
The attention will be no doubt be amplified by the fact that there has been more consistency in LADA SPORT’s results than ever before in 2016. Its drivers Nick Catsburg, Gabriele Tarquini and Hugo Valente have been a constant threat for pole positions and podium finishes in the first four rounds of the 2016 season.
It’s all to play for heading into the WTCC Race of Germany, and Gabriele Tarquini says: Despite my decades of experience in motorsport, I had never raced on the Nürburgring Nordschleife before last year. It is very different from a normal circuit for being so long and because it’s so difficult to remember all of the corners.
The LADA Vesta usually works best in high-speed corners, but the Nordschleife is unique, full of bumps and it consists of every type of corner. It is very hard to predict how the car will work there, but I hope we have a good weekend and I will work hard to find the strongest possible setup.
Hugo Valente added: The Nürburgring Nordschleife is the most difficult circuit in the world and you have a very small margin for error. There is always something to surprise you and it’s all about treating the track with respect and learning it one step at a time. The challenge makes it very exciting and I love it! It’s super-fast and you need to find the correct rhythm without overdoing it, otherwise you will end up in the barriers.
It’s a circuit for men, not boys! However, it’s hard to say how LADA SPORT ROSNEFT will perform, simply because it’s a unique place and setup is completely different to any other track. We will see how the LADA Vesta behaves after the first practice session, although we know the car performs well in fast turns. The forecast says it will rain and I’m not very happy about that. The weather could ruin the party!
The WTCC made its ‘Ring’ debut in 2015 and the Championship’s Race of Germany will once again run in support of the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring on the combined Nordschleife and Grand Prix track this weekend. Some 150 cars will compete in the twice-around-the-clock endurance race and LADA SPORT’s Catsburg is becoming something of a Nürburgring 24 Hours stalwart, having entered the race twice before.