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Hornchurch racer Thompson sees series hopes dampened on debut Knockhill outing

PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 August 2018

Bobby Thompson in action at Knockhill (Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Bobby Thompson in action at Knockhill (Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

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Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rookie Bobby Thompson endured a nightmare weekend at the spectacular Knockhill circuit in Fife.

Bobby Thompson in action at Knockhill (Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography)Bobby Thompson in action at Knockhill (Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

The 22-year-old from Hornchurch finished 20th in the final race of the weekend to keep him 27th in the overall standings of the BTCC Championship.

Fresh from a season’s best seventh-place finish at the Rockingham Motor Speedway, the driver arrived at one of the UK’s most scenic and unique circuits in a buoyant mood, despite the fact that the undulating layout of the only non-English track on the calendar hasn’t traditionally suited the VW CC he pilots.

“My first trip to Knockhill was certainly a memorable one, even if it was for all the wrong reasons,” said Thompson.

“The track itself is awesome, but it is just a pity that we only managed a handful of laps when it was dry.

“I was still pretty confident on race morning when we saw that all the races were going to be wet, but missing race one was just a killer and we never recovered from that.”

The eighth race weekend of the BTCC’s record-breaking 60th anniversary season began well enough for the 2017 VW Cup Series Champion, who was comfortably inside the top 10 during the opening half of the first of two free practice sessions.

But a slight error resulted in the BRDC Rising Star suffering his first off-track excursion of the season.

He added: “I just overcooked it slightly on my seventh flying lap going through turn one and spun. The car felt so good and I was just attacking a bit too much a bit too soon.

“The problem was that I hit a ditch, which ripped the front splitter off and caused a bit of damage which meant I missed the whole of second practice.”

Thompson made a good start to race two, but was classified as a non-finisher in 24th place when a red flag brought about an early conclusion to proceedings.

“I’ve always said that I love racing in the rain, but race two was the worst conditions I’ve ever experienced.”

He then finished 20th in the third race of the weekend, adding: “If only race three was race one then our weekend would have been a lot different.

“The car was really good and I could just attack with confidence in the grip levels.”

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