LADA is set for a works entry in the World Touring Car Championship in 2009 after the Russian car manufacturer AVTOVAZ signed a letter of intent with series promoters KSO.

The agreement to help the promote the LADA brand also includes the commitment of both parties to running an event in Russia from 2010 - with a street circuit in the capital Moscow being the favoured location.

LADA will now work over the winter on developing a new race car based on the Priora model ahead of 2009.

"This deal is a great honour for us and we are ready to support AVTOVAZ in the preparation and homologation of their new Priora racing car," KSO general manager Marcello Lotti said. "Welcome, LADA!

"We will also be working together with the FIA and the Russian National Sporting Authority to identify a suitable street circuit and a date for the 2010 season. Our priority is to race in Moscow."

Boris Aleshin, president of the AVTOVAZ Group, said he was hopeful that the motorsport programme would be beneficial to sales with the team setting ambitious targets for the seasons ahead.

"We sell now 160,000 cars per year and we intend to increase these figures; motorsport is a good mean to promote our products," he said. "Our goal is to be in the middle of the pack during our first WTCC season, and then we will be working to improve. We are really ambitious."

LADA appeared in the WTCC for the first time this season, with the Russian Bears Motorsport team running three 110 models for Jaap van Lagen, Viktor Shapovalov and Kirill Ladygin.



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