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Aeroexpress Racing Team’s Glorious Struggle in Moscow
Aug 6, 2013
5 August 2013, Moscow. – On 3–4 August, for the first time ever in its nearly 30-year history, the DTM German Touring Car Championship went on tour in Russia. The Moscow Raceway racing track (near Moscow) had the honour of playing host to the legendary competition and the Russian LADA Granta Cup proudly served as a support act. The race on home soil has finally brought success to the Aeroexpress Racing Team with Rustam Akiniazov and Mikhail Loboda’s crew winning second place, the result of which has proven to be the team’s best achievement thus far.
The triumph still seemed far away on Saturday. After a rather unsuccessful qualifying round, both crews started the race from the middle of the grid. Rustam Akiniazov and Mikhail Loboda’s crew number 7 finished in fifth place, while crew number 15, driven by Boris Shulmeyster and Nikolai Gryazin, suffered from a burnt rear left tyre, resulting in a lowly tenth position.
However, during Sunday’s race, a much more interesting scenario unfolded than seen at the race the day before. After a confident start, Nikolai Gryazin demonstrated an active strive with his opponents during his part of the race, improving his position one by one. During the competition, there was an incident wherein the Aeroexpress car came into contact with another car. The damaged suspension made it difficult to handle left turns, which happen to prevail on the Moscow Raceway track. Neither the damaged car’s speed, nor its position on the track after the pit stop allowed Boris Shulmeyster, who replaced Nikolai in the driver’s seat, to place within the top three. Nevertheless, Boris still managed to please the audience with a couple of spectacular overtakings. The result was a hard-fought eighth place.
But Rustam Akiniazov and Mikhail Loboda were true heroes on Sunday. They were involved in the Sunday’s race’s main battle between the crews of the Aeroexpress Racing Team and Syzran Racing Team. From the very start, Mikhail managed to win back one position in the first lap and, during the rest of his time on the track, he continued to attack Sergei Ryabov in a contest for second place. After a pit stop, car number 7, now driven by Rustam Akiniazov, rejoined the race in the lead and held the position right until the final lap. Here is when the race’s major events took place – literally, just a few seconds before the finish, the skilled Dmitry Bragin seized the race lead from Rustam! With such a result, Rustam Akiniazov and Mikhail Loboda could at least be comforted by the fact that they celebrated their first time on the podium this season and their return in the top three in the championship lead.