December 5 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 6, 2013
Mechanical problems dog Brands Hatch bid
Hornchurch youngster Bobby Thompson had little luck in the latest round of the Vortex Dunlop Ford Fiesta Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend.
The 17-year-old was hoping to strengthen his claim for a top-10 place in the series in his rookie season, after strong displays at Silverstone and Castle Combe.
But the former Emerson Park pupil suffered mechanical problems when well set in the first race of the weekend, forcing a retirement.
A red flag during qualifying ended his hopes of posting a fast lap and saw Thompson line up 14th on the grid.
He said: “It was like the M25 at rush hour, only at 100mph.
“After the red flag I couldn’t get a clear lap in, but I was looking forward to the first race as I felt I could make up quite a few places on the first lap.
“Brands is a place where you can overtake but you have to do it quickly as if the driver in front starts to defend it can be very tricky.”
Thompson, lying in 11th place in the series after 10 of the 16 rounds, sped away from the start and was soon moving up through the field.
But disaster struck after just a few laps, with Thompson adding: “I got into eighth place on lap two and there was a group of four cars ahead of me, including the championship leader.
“I was closing on them and I thought to myself ‘I’ve got to make my move quickly or else they will get too strung out and I’ll lose my chance of a top five’ when the bearings around the driveshaft and CV joint collapsed.
“That was game over.”
Thompson, who is backed by Euro Car Parts and Carp Trader, returned to the pits disappointed, but determined to bounce back in race two after some quick repairs.
He had to line up in 28th place, though, for the 22-lap race and added: “It was my first mechanical failure of the year and considering we have so few people working with us and that we are all new to car racing we have been really fortunate with reliability.
“We will learn from that and make sure it never happens again. The only good thing about starting so far back is that there was no pressure on me.
“It was actually quite exciting to see what I could do and it felt like my old days in karting where you would always have to start at least one heat race from the back of the grid.”
Thompson made a series of passes until, with one lap left, he found himself in 11th place.
“The two drivers in front of me started to defend but I still thought I could get a run on them coming out of the last corner,” said Thompson.
“I set myself up but as I went over the kerbs, I ran out of fuel!
“We had been trying to get close to the weight limit but I suppose because I had been driving so hard I used a bit more fuel than my dad thought I would. It just ran dry and I couldn’t do anything apart from coast across the line. I lost five places!”
Eventually finishing 16th, Thompson added: “I have to say that I called my dad a few things that my mum wouldn’t have approved of!
“I wasn’t happy but you have to push the limits and we just pushed them a bit too far this time.
“It was a minor misjudgement and it dropped us back a bit in the points, but this is my first year and we didn’t have any expectations coming into the year.
“It is all about learning this year and I passed 17 cars in 21 laps so I will take the positives out of that. Everyone is allowed to make the occasional mistake and if it wasn’t for my dad’s hard work I wouldn’t even be here.”
The next two rounds of the championship will be held at Donington Park before the season concludes back at Brands Hatch in October.
Christine Ohuruogu and Mo Farah have been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.