James Thompson - Photo Credit: fiawtcc.com

Thompson will be back behind the wheel of a Lada this season - Photo Credit: fiawtcc.com

James Thompson will return to the World Touring Car Championship this year together with Lada, Autosport has revealed.

The double British champion and European cup winner raced for the Russian manufacturer during the 2009 season, but has been absent from the WTCC since their withdrawal at the end of that year.

He will now lead their return to the series, which was announced at the end of December. Thompson will drive the new Granta model at the Hungaroring and Estoril events, which Lada is entering ahead of a possible full-time entry to the championship.

“I’m really pleased to have this deal,” Thompson said to Autosport, who also state that he has signed a multi-year deal with the manufacturer and that he is due to give the Granta its first test at Mangy-Cours in France in April.

“There’s a totally new structure, with Lada Racing having been created, and this gives me a lot of confidence that this can go somewhere.”