Kozlovskiy: I want to be in the top 10

"It’s not easy to become competitive here"


By Olivier Ferret

30 May 2013 - 13:52
Kozlovskiy: I want to be in the top (...)

Mikhail Kozlovskiy, 23-year old Russian from St. Petersburg is just the last one of a group of young lions who have joined the World Touring Car Championship in the latest years.

Kozlovskiy was called by the LADA Sport Lukoil team after the first race meeting of the season, and from Marrakech onwards he took the wheel of the second LADA Granta car, alongside James Thompson.

This is your first time in a professional racing series. And not an easy one...

“It’s a tough commitment, a big step forward in my racing career. The WTCC is one the most professional championships, with a lot of excellent drivers, and it’s not easy to become competitive here. I feel proud because LADA Sport and Lukoil gave me the opportunity to race in this championship and I’m doing my very best to be up to their expectations.”

You have raced in RRC before, so you knew more or less what the car is like. The biggest challenge is adapting yourself to a factory team and learning the racetracks.

“The team is not a problem. They are professional and are doing all they can to put me at ease and help me learning. The tracks are the biggest challenge. Every time I have to learn and WTCC doesn’t give you much time to do it, with such a limited track time. But I am happy, because I see that, session after session, race after race, my pace is improving.”

Your team-mate is James Thompson, one of the fastest and most experienced touring car drivers. Is this helping you?

“James is a great person, open and friendly. He’s helping me a lot, giving many advises and showing me where to put my wheels. The only problem is that he’s very fast. Actually one of the fastest. And this sometimes may be a bit frustrating, because every driver wants to be the fastest in the team. I still have a long way to go before being able to beat him.”

The car’s performance is improving. Have you fixed any personal goal for this first season?

“I want to be consistently among the top ten before the end of the season. I am very confident, because I see the way the team is working and how much they are able to improve the car. It is definitely a goal we can achieve.”

WTCC is coming to Russia for the first time. What kind of reaction do you expect from Russian fans?

“I hope they will come to see the races in a large number. Motorsport in general is now very popular in Russia. Obviously most of the interest is focusing on Formula One, but the popularity of WTCC is quickly growing. This is one of the most exciting racing series. Before I joined it, I used to watch the races on TV and enjoyed them a lot. I think that WTCC will provide a great show at Moscow Raceway.”

This will be the first time you have an advantage because you know the track. Do you think this will help?

“Actually Tom Coronel has raced here as well. However, is true that for once I know where to start from since the first session. I’m sure that it won’t take long to the other drivers to learn and catch up, but at least in the beginning I will expect to have a small advantage.”


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