The Lada Granta Sport has broken its testing duck for 2013 at the technical Magny-Cours circuit, with former double BTCC champion, James Thompson completing 70 laps at the wheel of the Russian car.
Thompson and team manager, Victor Shapovalov both appear happy with the car's progress following much hard work over the past six months.
“I'm 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 told Yahoo Eurosport
"I think we have worked very hard 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. Now we should focus on further improvements and I am eager to test new evolutions of the Granta."
Shapovalov repeated Thompson's sentiments, but admitted that he hoped for further progress.
“It was important to estimate the performance of the car after all the improvements we made," he said of the test, "The car was seriously developed in terms of aerodynamics, speed, drivability. James' feedback is crucial for us to understand in which areas we need some more improvement.”
The LADA Sport Lukoil team will be back at Magny-Cours over 25-28 February for a further test, with Aleksei Dudukalo expected to be present alongside Thompson to drive the car for the first time.
by Dexter Fielding