Russian Federation’s Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin visited Togliatti and the LADA Avtovaz factory on Tuesday.
In the city of the Samara region, Mr Putin chaired a remote session of the Russian Government that was dedicated to the situation of the national automotive industry.
During his visit the Prime Minister met the workers, visited the automobile plants and took a close look to the exhibition of LADA Sport cars.
Mr Putin showed a lot of interest for the racing and rally cars, sat behind the wheel of some of them and wished success to all drivers who take part in the competitions under the LADA Sport banner.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his visit at LADA Sport
EUROPEAN CHAMPION LOOKS AT WTCC
Michel Nykjær, the winner of two consecutive FIA European Touring Car cups, plans to make a few appearances in the WTCC.
The 29-year old Dane won a first European title in 2007 at Adria, Italy, at the wheel of a SEAT León and encored last year at the Austrian Salzburgring driving a Chevrolet Lacetti. "After we won the race the team and I started negotiations for the 2009 Danish Touring Car championship," said Nykjær who was crowned Danish Touring Car champion in 2007.
DTC is the priority, but Nykjær and the team are looking ahead: "We won the European cup together and we are certain that we could do well in the WTCC. Chevrolet Motorsport Denmark have a very tight cooperation with Chevrolet’s WTCC team, and I am hoping that we could join a few WTCC events, which are not in clash with the Danish races."
BENNANI’S FIRST TEST AT MAGNY-COURS
Mehdi Bennani had his first test in the Exagon Engineering SEAT Wefnesday on the French track of Magny-Cours. The young Moroccan driver, who will make his first appearance in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at Marrakech, spent the day at the wheel of the petrol-powered SEAT León car sporting the red-white-green livery of OMNT, Morocco’s Tourism Office.
During the test Bennani was watched carefully by the team principal Luc Marchetti, the team manager Cathy Muller and by her brother Yvan, the reigning WTCC champion.
"Yvan was very generous in giving Mehdi advice. I have to say that we were all impressed by the way this young driver was able to quickly adapt himself to the car and also by the interesting feedback he gave. Obviously it will take some times to be competitive in such a tough championship, but I’m sure Mehdi has the potential to do well," Marchetti commented.
Mehdi Bennani tests the Exagon Engineering SEAT at Magny-Cours