Nick Catsburg replaces Mikhail Kozlovskiy for Moscow

27-year-old Dutch sports car specialist Nick Catsburg has become the latest driver to be involved in Lada Sport Rosneft’s surprise round of in-year driver changes. Catsburg replaces Russian driver Mikhail Kozlovskiy for the marque’s home race in the repaired third Vesta WTCC.

”I am really looking forward to this completely new challenge for me. The race will of course be difficult, but with the help of the team and my experienced teammates I am sure we can do well. The Moscow WTCC round is obviously an important one to LADA and our main sponsor Rosneft, it is a real pleasure to share this event with them. I have looked at several on-boards from the Moscow Raceway Circuit and it looks very technical, I can’t wait to get started,” said Catsburg.

Catsburg tested the Vesta WTCC at the team’s Magny-Cours base last Thursday, and has now been confirmed at Lada Sport for next weekend’s race at the Moscow Raceway, where he will join Rob Huff and fellow countryman Jaap van Lagen. The addition of Catsburg to the team’s line-up means that 2/3rds of the team’s line-up has changed after just four races, with the team having started the season with James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy.

“The Lada Vesta WTCC car is something completely new to me. The first laps during the test in Magny-Cours where a big surprise, this car really requires a specific driving style with all that power on the front-axle. Once I got some more laps in, I started to get used to the car and the driving style, and really started to enjoy driving this car. Braking and the car’s performance at high speed were very impressive,” said Catsburg.

Catsburg will drive a repaired Lada Vesta WTCC, after two cars were extensively damaged in crashes during the first few races. Rob Huff’s race car was heavily damaged in the second race at the Marrakech street circuit in April, when Kozlovskiy’s car ran into the back of him at the final corner. Huff received a new car for the next race at the Hungaroring two weeks later, but this car was also heavily damaged during a crash in testing at the track two days after the race meeting, when the front-left suspension component failed on the way into Turn 1.

Huff drove Kozlovskiy’s car at the last race at the Nurburgring Nordschleife with the Russian forced to sit out, while Thompson was replaced by former Lada driver Jaap van Lagen, who will continue to drive for the team at the next race in Russia on June 7th.