The Lada Sport Rosneft team has confirmed that it will only field two of its three cars for next weekend’s FIA Wourld Touring Car Championship season-opener at Argentina’s Termas Río Hondo circuit, after running out of time to finalise the preparation on its third car.

The news means that Russian youngster Mikhail Kozlovskiy will not appear on the WTCC grid until the season’s second round on the streets of Marrakech, where he claimed a career-best fifth-placed finish last year.

The team’s two brand new TC1-spec Vesta WTCC racers will be driven by the outfit’s lead drivers, 2012 champion Rob Huff and two-time BTCC title-winner James Thompson.

The pair recently shook down their new challengers over a multi-day test session at the Magny Cours circuit in France two weeks ago ahead of the team’s equipment and cars being freighted to South America.

Lada is the only outfit to bring a brand new car for the forthcoming season, but the shortened off-season meant that the team ran out of time to prepare three cars in time for the air freight.

The news means that the season-opener will see a field of 18 cars on the grid; the grid is expected to expand to twenty cars, with separate seats at Münnich Motorsport and Campos Racing still up for grabs.

Image via Autogaleria

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.