Aleksei Dudukalo set for Lada switch in 2013

Russian driver Aleksei Dudukalo has indicated that he expects to be racing for Lada in the 2013 season in a two car team alongside double British Touring Car champion James Thompson, with backing from LUKOIL, as was rumoured earlier in the year.

Lada announced at the Moscow Motor Show that the deal was in place, but it later emerged that negotiations between the Russian oil giant were still ongoing at the time, and that LUKOIL were also looking at other options in the WTCC. LUKOIL and Dudukalo have also both been linked with a Chevrolet programme for next year, something which was also looked at for this year before they continued with the new SEAT Sport programme.

Dudukalo told TouringCarTimes: “I should be in a Lada next year. The engine’s good, it’s an ORECA engine just like the SEAT. The car’s not as adjustable as the SEAT yet, but then the SEAT is now a very old car.”

“Gabriele (Tarquini) told me that if they were able to upgrade the suspension on the SEAT next year and get a new homologation, it could be a very competitive car.”

The Lukoil Racing Team has sold both its 2012 SEAT León WTCCs to the incoming Münnich Motorsport team, which will run three cars for 2012 FIA GT1 World champions Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock next year, as well as a third car for team owner Réne Münnich.