Lada • LADA Granta Cup Final in Tolyatti
After the victory in the latest race of the final stage Kirill Ladygin becomes the winner of the LADA Granta Cup debut season and receives a car of the same name as the first prize. The second place of the new Russian mono cup season goes to Vyacheslav Maleev, the third place – to Maxim Simonov.
12 teams participated in the two final races at the renewed Tolyatti Ring circuit. Participation of a famous foreign racer has already become a good tradition of LADA Granta Cup. This time the double BTCC champion and WTCC racer from Britain James Thompson starred on the track. Jumping ahead, he made it to the Tolyatti podium taking the third prize in the second Sunday race teaming up with a local racer Alexey Degtyarev.
In the first Saturday race one of the Loboda twins, Mikhail, took the lead from the start. However, on the sixth lap, the Moscow driver made a mistake trying to beat off Vyacheslav Maleev’s attacks and crashed into the fencing leaving the race first. After the race was restarted, we witnessed a battle between Maleev senior leading the peloton and the Cup leader Kirill Ladygin. Five laps to the finish Ladygin overtook Maleev’s car and raced to his victory that would guarantee him the Cup.
But... the leader’s Granta of the AutoVAZ team never came to the finish. On the last lap Kirill’s car disappeared behind the turn of the Love Alley, either intentionally or by accident, keeping the tension in the battle for the Cup high until the final race.
“Last Saturday I was already driving close to the finish thinking about the victory. I thought: “Here is the last turn, what could possibly go wrong now”, - Kirill comments on the race results, - and suddenly a wheel comes off – as it appeared, the ball bearing bolt came unscrewed”.
The results of the first race of the LADA Granta Cup 2011Final:
- В.Maleev/Ryabov 52:40.531
- Simonov/Bragin +8.621
- Nikolaev/Dudin +16.660
- Akiniyazov/Kamesky +45.070
- Thompson/Degtyarev +48.893
- Mityayev/Chaban +1:05.587
- Ladygin/М.Maleev +1 lap
- Shapovalov/Shalunov +1 lap...
The victory in the Saturday race allowed Vyacheslav Maleev to shorten the gap between him and the classification leader to 19 points and keep his chances to win the Cup. Besides, the Samara driver started from the pole position, while his rival from Tolyatti started only from the seventh position. And the rain showering over the Tolyatti Ring circuit could have its impact on the race results.
However, none of these helped Maleev to beat the “host” of the circuit. On the seventh lap Ladygin managed to catch up with and overtake his main competitor and arrived at the mandatory pit stop right after James Thompson who maintained the leading position throughout the first half of the circuit. After the driver change Ladygin’s co-driver, the youngest racer 18-year old Mikhail Maleev took the lead and came in first.
The results of the second race of the LADA Granta Cup 2011 in Tolyatti:
- Yuriy Makushin ...
James Thompson, the bronze medallist of the LADA Granta Cup final race: «First of all, I would like to thank the organizers for the invitation to the race. I met my old friends and made new ones here. I am certain that LADA Granta Cup will develop further to bring joy to the racers and spectators. I have no doubt that the new racing series will have a positive impact on the LADA brand. I am sorry for bringing English weather to Tolyatti…
I have to admit, I was very impressed by LADA Granta. It is an excellent sport car. It is wonderful that there is a mono cup where all the racers are given equal possibilities. I also had the luck to visit the car plant on a tour. The visit was exciting!»
Kirill Ladygin, the LADA Granta Cup winner: «I am not new to city racing. It was a good decision to rebuilt the Tolyatti Ring to conduct circuit races in the city. The circuit is great – high-speed, with rather difficult turns in certain places. It felt there like home. I’d like to point out that when I was participating in the WTCC, I learned a lot from James Thompson who came here today for the final LADA Granta Cup race. So today (Sunday – editor's note) I happened to drive right behind James – and it made things easier for me: I simply repeated all Thompson’s maneuvers».
LADA Granta Cup 2011 final classification:
- Kirill Ladygin (Samara) 211 points
- Vyacheslav Maleev (Samara) 167
- Yuriy Loboda (Moscow) 146
- Mikhail Loboda (Moscow) 146
- Mikhail Maleev (Samara) 144
- Maxim Simonov (Syzran’) 140
- Dmitry Bragin (Syzran’) 124
- Rustam Akiniyazov (Moscow) 110
- Viktor Shapovalov (Moscow) 108
- Sergey Shalunov (Cheboksary) 108
- Sergey Ryabov (Moscow) 95
- Pavel Kalmanovich (Tolyatti) 90
- Alexandr Kobenko (Tolyatti) 90 ...
Besides the LADA Granta Cup race the numerous audience gathered at the Tolyatti-Ring circuit witnessed the LADA Kalina Cup Racing. The exciting race was won by Vladimir Sheshenin from Ekaterinburg, followed by Roman Kozyavin from Tolyatti and Natalia Goltsova from Izhevsk.