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Aeroexpress Racing Team’s Battle at Krasnoyarsk

Jul 8, 2013

8 July 2013, Moscow – On 6–7 July, the second stage of the LADA Granta Cup took place. The debut on the Krasnoyarsk Krasnoye Ring was marked by certain difficulties for a number of teams, including the Aeroexpress Racing Team. Rustam Akiniazov and Mikhail Loboda’s crew, who struggled both with their competitors and their car, finished fourth in both races.

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The Aeroexpress Racing Team crews started to attack from the very first minutes of the first race. Mikhail Loboda started in fifth place and began to regain positions when a kick in the wheel, resulting from an attempt to overtake Alexey Dudukalo, damaged the suspension geometry and prevented the crew from fighting for a top position in the first race. The car drew significantly slower at the curves, and Mikhail stopped for a pit stop when he was already in eighth place. Rustam Akiniazov, who replaced him in the driver’s seat, managed to maintain the pace and even win back positions. According to the results of the race, the Aeroexpress Racing Team crew came home fourth – only one step behind the podium winners. The team’s second car, driven by Boris Shulmeyster and Vasily Gryazin, began the race perfectly well, but a misfortune with fuel supply in the middle of the race forced them out of the track.

The second race’s major events also involved both Aeroexpress Racing Team crews. Confidently beginning the race, Vasily Gryazin brought car number 15 to fourth place, and Boris Shulmeyster was back on the track third, which he maintained despite sharp attacks from Mikhail Mityayev right until the finish. Especially disappointing was the news that after the finish, due to an underweight car, the judges took the decision to cancel the results of several crews, including Boris and Vasily’s. Keeping the audience in suspense, a long duel between Rustam Akiniazov and Maxim Simonov resulted in Rustam’s success, inevitably bringing the team another fourth place.

“Objectively, we have all factors of success - a reliable pit crew, well prepared cars and fast drivers. The start of the season raised the ante pretty high, and we really wanted to improve our score in Krasnoyarsk, but not everything went as planned. At least one crew was able to score the maximum possible number of points under these circumstances; we hold on to second position in the team event, and the very struggle for first place is still to come,” said Boris Shulmeyster from the Aeroexpress Racing Team.

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The LADA Granta Cup stage held in Krasnoyarsk was a full show – two fires, a retirement and an accident that prevented one of the leaders from crossing the finish line, competitors’ active fights and persistent attacks. “The Krasnoyarsk racing track is short – just a little over two kilometres – but it has many turns. The cars experience high loads, particularly overheating the hydraulic power steering, which might cause a fire. Moreover, this track configuration keeps the drivers themselves in a huge strain as well. All this results in a large number of retirements and technical errors even by the most experienced racers. Unfortunately for us, this track also proved to be unfriendly,” commented Rustam Akiniazov from the Aeroexpress Racing Team.

The third stage of the LADA Granta Cup will take place on 27-28 July on the familiar Smolensk track. “We will do everything possible to reduce the gap between the series’ leaders. All vehicles will undergo a thorough technical examination, and in terms of racing strategy, additional tests are planned,” said Rustam Akiniazov. “We very much hope that Nikolay Gryazin will finally join our team in Smolensk – he now has to participate in one more race in the “National" Cup of Russia championship for the Russian Automobile Association to entitle him to take part in a faster class. He demonstrates very stable performance, achieving high speed results, and we are confident that Kolya can succeed in the LADA Granta Cup.”

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.

Sponsors of the Aeroexpress Racing Team include Aeroexpress, AKB MOSOBLBANK, RailTransAvto, and Komponent company.

2013 calendar for the LADA Granta Cup races:

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

Stage 2 (6-7 July) in Krasnoyarsk

Stage 3 (27-28 July) in Smolensk

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