Jaap Van Lagen, who raced for LADA in the FIA World Touring Car Championship last year, has set his sights on a drive in the FIA Formula One World Championship supporting Porsche Supercup after losing his WTCC drive.
The Russian manufacturer, who introduced the new Priora model half way through the 2009 campaign with James Thompson at the wheel have pulled out of the WTCC, citing a lack of money to compete.
Dutchman Van Lagen said: “I got the message on the 16th of February. Everything was over then, it was too late to make a deal with another team.”
The team left due to money, and now they're logos feature on the Renault Formula One race cars: “They said there is not enough money. But they have put their money on Renault in Formula One now.”
There was speculation that the cars could appear later in the season at the hands of an independent team, something that Van Lagen doesn't think will happen: “You have to ask Viktor [team boss, Shapovalov], but I do not believe that he is going to be back with a private team.”
Van Lagan also believes that the car could have been a more potent piece of machinery, with more time to develop the car. Thompson showed its potential with a brace of sixth place finishes at Imola, before both Van Lagan and Thompson were running in the top 8 at Okayama before being forced to retire.
“The big advantage of the car was its weight. With a lot of testing it would have been possible to make it competitive. It would not have been difficult, you just needed the right man at the right place,” explains Van Lagen, on the cars strengths.
As for his 2010 plans, Van Lagen is going to work on a Porsche Supercup deal as well as some racing in his native Holland, as he explains: “I am going to try and get a seat in the Porsche Supercup from the second race of the season, as well as some races in a Dutch championship.”