Nika blame Russian customs control for ‘unusual weekend’

Jun 7, 2015

Nika blame Russian customs control for ‘unusual weekend’

Moscow, June 7, 2015

Nika International say that their car getting held up in customs compromised their whole World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) weekend, with Team Principal Nicklas Karlsson saying that “you can’t afford to lose a whole day” in a world championship.

Nika fell foul of the Russian customs in the week running up to the event when the truck carrying their Honda Civic was held up for four days. The delays had a knock-on effect for the small Swedish outfit, who were forced to sit out Friday testing completely.

Things were compounded by the fact that driver Rickard Rydell was returning to the championship from a serious bot of thyroiditis, having missed the last three events, and the fact that the experienced touring car driver had never before raced on the Moscow Raceway.

The team’s car eventually arrived on Saturday morning, although Rydell struggled for pace as the day progressed, ending qualifying down in 17th position.

Sunday’s two races both proved to be a pointless affair for the Swede, who finished in 13th and 11thplace respectively.

”Given the circumstances, there wasn’t a whole lot more we could achieve this weekend,” said Team Principal Karlsson. “You just can’t afford to lose a full day of practice if you’re competing in a world championship, and the situation at customs control meant we were always going to be one step behind.

“We simply had to do our best, and I specifically want to highlight the efforts of our fantastic personnel. They always stay positive and work as hard as ever when the going gets tough.

“Ultimately, we didn’t have the pace we wanted this weekend, but there were very real reasons for that and we are already looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Rydell remained positive despite the setback, and the 47-year-old continues to learn about the Honda Civic, which he had only raced in one meeting prior to Moscow.

”A pretty unusual weekend,” summarized Rydell. “We missed all of free practice on Friday, which was the last thing we needed after already running behind schedule. Also, I had never been to Moscow Raceway before this weekend, so I would have really needed those laps to learn the circuit. The car only arrived a few hours before the start of Saturday practice, which left us with very limited time to prepare the right set-up ahead of qualifying.

“Still, we did manage to complete two solid races, and we learned a lot from that. We are still in the middle of a steep learning curve, but we are improving all the time.”

By Andrew Abbott

Resent posts

Nika International - the first Swedish private WTCC team
Share This