Next year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship could swell to up to six different manufacturers, with news that Russian carmaker LADA will make a return to the championship for the first time since it left the sport at the end of the 2009 season.
The entry will be fronted by the TMS outfit, which ran the works LADA operation in the 2009 championship under the Russian Bears Motorsport banner with Jaap van Lagen and James Thompson at the wheel.
It is understood that the team is planning two ‘evaluation’ efforts with a Super 2000 spec version of the LADA Granta Sport model (pictured, top), which competed in last year’s European Production Series, the WTCC support category.
The team previously ran for two full seasons in the World Touring Car Championship between 2008-9, although generally at the rear of the field.
In 2009, it changed to the newer Priora model and found an immediate improvement in its competitiveness, with Thompson claiming a pair of sixth-placed finishes at Imola(pictured) before the team inexplicably withdrew from the championship at the end of the year.