5 March 2015
WTCC Race of Argentina: Huff: '2015 a year of trail and error for LADA'
Former WTCC champion Robert Huff says the new season will be a case of trail and error with the all-new LADA Vesta TC1 car
Robert Huff says he is excited to return to the track where he gained his first podium finish with the LADA Sport, but warns the 2015 season will be a case of trail and error as they get to grips with the new car for the WTCC season opener in Argentina.
The Russian team will debut its all-new LADA Vesta TC1 car at the WTCC curtain raiser and although Huff is expecting a repeat of last year's results, a seventh and second, the British driver is optimistic he can have another positive experience at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo.
Last season's second place marked the team's first ever podium in WTCC, followed up by its first victories later in the year in Beijing and Macau.
"I am very excited to get the season underway, especially in Argentina where we had out first major success,” Huff said. “It's a hugely popular circuit and will pull in huge crowds, which adds to the atmosphere and is a great way to kick-off the season. With a new car and not having raced in a while, there is a huge amount of anticipation.”
The 2012 WTCC champion admits the team are behind in its pre-season testing schedule and he the British drivers says the team has to remain patient and believe the results will build as the car gets more milage.
LADA say compared with its predecessor, the Vesta boasts higher top-speed capabilities, quicker acceleration and greater maneuverability due to its improved aerodynamics and engine.
“We have not done nearly the amount of testing we would have like to, but what Victor Shapovalov and the LADA Sport ROSNEFT team have done in creating a brand new car from scratch is remarkable, considering we aren't able to take information over from last year,” he explained. “It's going to a year of trial and error, and ultimately we will make a few errors, but 'he who makes the fewest mistakes, wins.
“To put a label on the car at this stage would be unfair, as everything on it is brand new. A realistic goal is to finish both races and collect as much data as possible so that we can go away and develop the Vesta during the break between Argentina and Morocco. If either James Thompson or I do come away with a strong result, it will be a very joyous occasion. I'm excited to get out there, dig deep and show the world what LADA Sport has built.”
Huff will be joined by fellow Brit James Thompson at LADA Sport in Argentina but the team's third driver, Mikhail Kozlovskiy, has to watch on from the pitlane after it was confirmed his LADA car will not be ready in time.
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