Motivated Tarquini feared WTCC exit
"My first target was to stay"
Gabriele Tarquini feared his stay in the FIA World Touring Car Championship was up when he found out his Honda deal would not be renewed, only for salvation in the form of a factory LADA drive to make him more motivated than ever for 2016.
Tarquini, a mainstay of the championship since 2005 and the title winner four years later, was announced as a Rosneft-backed LADA driver last week following his departure from the rival Honda outfit prior to Christmas.
He said: “Yes I was afraid [the WTCC was over for me]. My first target was to stay in the WTCC because it was my home for a long time and it’s very difficult to stay away. Fortunately LADA wanted me very strong so when [the deal] was confirmed I was really pleased to be able to continue with WTCC because there was a limited time to speak to another manufacturer.
“Now everything is new, the car, the engine, the people, the team-mates and I feel a little bit younger than the last few years. You need to modify your attitude and your style of working and this keeps you young. It gives me a new motivation.”
Italian Tarquini, 53, will partner 23-year-old Frenchman Hugo Valente and Nicky Catsburg, 27, from the Netherlands, in LADA’s factory WTCC attack.
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