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Aeroexpress Racing Team Wins Team Event in Lada Granta Cup’s First Stage

Jun 10, 2013

10 June 2013, Moscow – On 8–9 June, the racing track Moscow Raceway held a big racing weekend, including the first stage of Russia’s 2013 LADA Granta Cup, in association with FIA WTCC and RRC. Sunday’s race saw the Aeroexpress Racing Team’s crews finish in third and fourth places, thereby winning the first score in the team event. The day before, Rustam Akiniazov and Mikhail Loboda finished fourth on Saturday’s race.

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In 2013, two crews are representing the Aeroexpress Racing Team in the LADA Granta Cup. Car number 7 is driven by skilled racers Rustam Akiniazov and Mikhail Loboda, and car number 15 is handled by Boris Shulmeyster and his young partner Nikolay Gryazin. However, his brother, Vasily Gryazin will take part in the first stages of the cup in place of the 15-year-old racer. In order to be entitled to take part in Lada Granta Cup, Nikolay first has to complete three stages in “National” class.

While unpredictable weather created extremely difficult conditions for all participants in the opening race, the Aeroexpress Racing Team seemed to have the worst luck. Assuming that the rain would stop before the race began and that the track would dry, the team’s engineers decided to equip the cars with “dry” settings. However, the track remained wet throughout the race, as a result of which many cars demonstrated some spectacular skidding and went off the track rather frequently. After the 40-minute race, Rustam Akiniazov and Mikhail Loboda crossed the finish line in fourth place, just behind the podium winners, while Boris Shulmeyster and Vasily Gryazin came in ninth.

According to the regulations, Rustam Akiniazov began the race in second position, while Vasily Gryazin started in seventh. Soon after the start, Vasily managed to race ahead to fourth position, and Boris Shulmeyster, who replaced him, finished the stage at the podium, coming in third. Rustam Akiniazov firmly held second position until his partner Mikhail Loboda replaced him in the driver’s seat and reached first position. Nevertheless, Rustam Akiniazov’s unfortunate mistake – exceeding the 60 km/h speed limit – cost the crew its victory. The stewards punished him with a pit lane drive-through, which resulted in finishing the second race only in fourth place.

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“I can characterise the results of the race as very satisfying. Throughout the weekend, crew number 15 was haunted by serious technical problems, so the fact that we managed to achieve nice time results in both qualification rounds was rather good luck. Despite a bad starting-grid position in the second stage, Vasily Gryazin managed to race ahead to a very comfortable fourth place, thereby making a big backlog for me, whilst I tried to keep up with the set pace,” Boris Shulmeyster commented on the race. “I’d particularly like to mention that I really liked my partner Vasily Gryazin’s performance because, being a rally professional, he participated in circuit racing for the first time and proved to be a real fighter.”

“In general, we are satisfied with the results achieved. Our main goal was to check the crew’s integration within the team, because both team members and crew compositions have undergone some significant transformations during the off-season. Conclusion: with the new line-up, our team is able to win the cup, which will not be easy though due to an increased number of formidable opponents in this season. In fact, the Lada Granta Cup mostly involves Russia’s best professional racers. But our team’s great tempo, shown as early as in the first stage, can be seen as optimistic,” – noted Rustam Akiniazov.

The first stage of the Lada Granta Cup took place together with the fifth stage of the World Touring Car Championship and the second stage of Russian Racing Championship. The Cup’s schedule includes six more stages with the nearest taking place on 6-7 July 2013 in Krasnoyarsk on the Krasnoye Koltso (“Red Ring”) track, which is new for the Lada Granta Cup.

The Aeroexpress Racing Team’s media partners include the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station, Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper and Autosport.com.ru.

The Aeroexpress Racing Team’s sponsors: Aeroexpress, LLC; AKB MOSOBLBANK; RailTransAvto, and Komponent company.

Reference

Aeroexpress Racing team was created in 2011 and debuted in Russia’s Lada Granta Cup racing series. For two seasons now, the team has firmly settled among the Cup’s main leaders and odds-on favourites. The team’s crews include experienced auto racers and Russian motorsport stars.

In 2013, the Aeroexpress Racing Team will once again fight for the victory in the Lada Granta Cup and will be represented by two crews (Mikhail Loboda and Rustam Akiniazov; Boris Shulmeyster and Nikolay Gryazin). Together with Boris Shulmeyter, Vasily Gryazin will take part in the cup’s first stages in place of his brother Nikolay.

The LADA Granta Cup is the AvtoVAZ racing series for road circuit racing, involving Russian motor racing stars.

The championship involves a special sports version of LADA Granta cars, prepared for the competition by Russia’s best engineers from the company TMS-Sport. Racing cars are equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine with a maximum capacity of 235hp, sequential gearbox, and reinforced suspension.

2013 LADA Granta Cup fixtures:

1st stage (8-9 June) in Moscow, Moscow Raceway track

2nd stage (6-7 July) in Krasnoyarsk

3rd stage (27-28 July) in Smolensk

4th stage (3-4 August) in Moscow, Moscow Raceway track

5th stage (17-18 August) in Kazan

6th stage (14-15 September) in Nizhny Novgorod

7th stage (28-29 September) in Togliatti