Aeroexpress Racing Team Holds its Position with the First Three Stages of LADA Granta Cup Now Complete
Jul 29, 2013
29 July 2013, Moscow – On 26–28 July, a grand motor racing weekend was held near Smolensk – the Smolensk Ring racing track simultaneously hosted four international and national racing series. Together with the European Truck Racing Championship, Formula Russia and Legends Russian Series events, participants in the Russian LADA Granta Cup also competed on the Smolensk track, now for the third time this season. For the Aeroexpress Racing Team, this stage turned out to be really eventful, involving an uncertain Saturday, a spectacular race taking the podium and first place in the team event on Sunday, Rustam Akiniazov and Michael Loboda’s fourth place, young Nikolai Gryazin’s successful debut, and them taking third place together with Boris Shulmeyster.
The beginning of this stage was not at all easy for the Aeroexpress Racing Team. Saturday’s race ended with crew number 7 out of the track due to a broken gearbox and crew number 15 finishing in the penultimate position. But that day, one of the Aeroexpress Racing Team’s racers was able to show his skills in a different competition. Not only is Mikhail Loboda taking part in the LADA Granta Cup, but he also participates – and quite successfully – in the Formula Russia series. On this occasion, as well as next weekend, the young racer is participating in both racing competitions. Mikhail faced some difficulties at the start of Saturday’s race, but despite a rather rough start, he managed to fight his way forward and after a hard struggle, he seized second place. On Sunday, Mikhail had to give up the race because his car broke down.
On Sunday, starting from fourth position, Rustam Akiniazov finished the first bend in the third position, and already on the second turn, he rushed towards the leader and kept the pace throughout of the entire first half of the race. Nevertheless, due to Rustam’s unfortunate mistake – knocking down a marker and driving of the track – the crew was punished with a pit lane drive-through, and they lost their advantageous position. After a mandatory pit stop and change of drivers, Mikhail Loboda made it into the top three. The struggle that ensued between him and Dmitry Bragin lasted until the end of the race, keeping the crowd of fans in anticipation. As a result, Rustam Akiniazov and Mikhail Loboda’s crew finished fourth, right behind teammates Boris Shulmeyster and Nikolai Gryazin.
“The speed was not high enough – not during training or in the qualifying round or the first race. Between the races, substantial engineering work was conducted, so we were able to demonstrate and maintain a high pace during Sunday's race. By and large, we are satisfied with the results; with three stages now complete, we maintained second place in the team event, and there is no dramatic gap between the leaders. Our main goal now is to solve the technical problems. Well, and we’ll also try to strictly adhere to the rules. We are very eager to break the tradition of finishing in fourth place,” commented Rustam Akiniazov from the Aeroexpress Racing Team.
Nikolai Gryazin enjoyed a successful debut in the Cup. The Smolensk track submitted to the 15-year-old racer, immediately winning the prize in this new competition – the cup for taking third place. Together with the skilled Boris Shulmeyster, they gave a confident performance on Saturday and took their place on top of the podium on Sunday.
“I’m afraid to praise Kolya too much, but he really deserves it. The young racer pleases us with even-handed adult behaviour on the track and a precocious cool racing mind. Our vehicle was damaged during Saturday’s race, and upon changing drivers, he took the car with a very unstable front-wheel drive. His task was to finish and not to attack, because it would be dangerous under such circumstances; the damaged wheel could explode at any moment. And so he did this. Kolya drove thtoughout the race calmly and made his first finish,” Boris Shulmeyster from Aeroexpress Racing Team stated in praise of his young teammate’s success. “On Sunday, he already had the opportunity to demonstrate his own driving style. He did everything correctly – without rushing forward at the start, he let the frontrunners pass, keeping right behind them. He made no mistakes on the track and did not violate any rules during the pit stop. Kolya is worthily continuing the famous Gryazin dynasty of racers and is sure to have many victories ahead, including those gained while on the Aeroexpress Racing team.”
The next (the fourth) stage of the Russian LADA Granta Cup will take place this weekend, on August 3–4, on the Moscow Raceway racing track, where it will be held as the warm-up for the DTM championship. The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters is the most prestigious Silhouette racing car series based in Germany. The Russian DTM stage traditionally involves competition between three German car super-giants: Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The Aeroexpress Racing Team benefits from informational support provided by Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Autosport.com.ru, the Russian version of this leading English racing website, and the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station.
The Aeroexpress Racing Team’s sponsors: Aeroexpress, LLC; AKB MOSOBLBANK; RailTransAvto, and Komponent company.
2013 calendar for the LADA Granta Cup races:
Stage 4 (3-4 August) in Moscow, Moscow Raceway track
Stage 5 (17-18 August) in Kazan
Stage 6 (14-15 September) in Nizhny Novgorod
Stage 7 (28-29 September) in Togliatti