On the 8th-9th of June history of the Russian motorsports was added with a new bright page. Moscow Raceway autodrome accommodated a FIA WTCC stage for the first time ever. This time 24-year old first-timer from Kursk Nikolay Karamyshev was competing with the best world drivers.
Our fellow-townsman received an invitation from Campos team, which previously included Hugo Valente. It is curious, that there was one more pretender to this place – Ukrainian driver Igor Skuz, but Spaniards preferred Karamyshev. They prepared a new SEAT Leon with a 310-hp gasoline turbine engine for Nikolay, who had never previously driven such car.
Young driver faced a serious challenge to prove that in the course of his performance at Russian and international circuits he accumulated enough skills and knowledge to compete head-to-head with the best world championship drivers. The stage started in the sunny Saturday morning.
First 30-minute practice race, second one. It became clear that the speed is not a problem. Karamyshev demonstrated the tenth result, which became a surprise for everyone, and for us – an extremely pleasant surprise. To compete with real TITANS of the world Touring class, champions with dozen-years’ experience, is a really hard task! To enter the top ten is not just a result, but a serious ticket to success.
But the speed is not the ultimate factor of racing. In the first race Nikolay reclaimed two positions at the very beginning, but later on he met with an accident: Charles Ng from Hong Kong and Swiss driver Freddie Bart collided. Uncontrollable car of the later bumped into the driver’s side of Karamyshev’s car.
SEAT was seriously damaged. Mechanics restored the car by the start of the second race – and the Russian driver got to the starting line. This time he avoided troubles and in the course of the entire run was struggling in a spectacular manner with more experienced opponents, having reclaimed six positions in a single race. Eventually he took the eighth place in the Yokohama Trophy. It means that the driver from Kursk successfully managed to score one point in the World Championship on the very first try. Hisdebutwasasuccess!
NIKOLAY KARAMYSHEV: “I am satisfied with my debut. I managed to demonstrate good speed and struggle with my opponents both in the qualifications and in the race. Though I lacked some experience. Because of this I missed the signal for weighing in the qualification and was penalized. But it is already evident that I may compete with the guys from the World Championship, and it is very interesting at that time. I would like to separately thank my team: they completely restored the car after the unfortunate accident in the first race by the start of the second one. Now we are preparing for the further WTCC stage in Portugal.”
JOAN ORÚS, leader of Campos WTCC team: “Nikolay has a serious potential – right at his debut stage of the World Championship he demonstrated an excellent speed and struggled for entering the second part of the qualification, where 12 strongest drivers compete for victory. I have no doubt that Nikolay not only corresponds with a high level of the WTCC, but also is able to struggle for the title of the strongest driver in the Yokohama Trophy.”