Thompson is staying positive after toughest BTCC test yet in heat of Thruxton battles
PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 May 2018
Hornchurch’s Bobby Thompson is hoping for kinder conditions in the next round of the Dunlpo MSA British Touring Car Championship next month after a tough weekend at Thruxton.
Rounds seven, eight and nine were a struggle for the reigning VW Cup Series champion, as tyres were quickly chewed up on a sun-baked circuit.
But the 21-year-old Thompson was trying to remain positive after missing out on points and said: “It was definitely an up and down weekend with more downs than ups. I’m disappointed not to score any points but nobody on the team managed to.
“Although we tried everything we could think of, we couldn’t get more than a few laps out of our tyres before it was like driving on ice. As thrilling as Thruxton is to drive, I’m glad we only race here once a year. I’m hoping the weather at the next round is more like it was at Donington!”
Thompson had enjoyed a good pre-season test at Thruxton, where average lap speeds top 110mph, but with temperatures in the high 20s, the abrasive surface was more like sandpaper than tarmac.
On the penultimate row of the grid for the first 16-lap race, he made a good start and gained several positions early on, but was forced over the grass when two rivals clashed three laps from home and rejoined in 26th.
After slipping back at the start of race two, Thompson began a trademark charge and was the fastest of his team’s four drivers.
Overtaking four caps on one lap while his tyres allowed, he was on the fringes of the top 20 and ousted James Nash on the final lap for a maiden top-six finish in the Jack Sears Trophy standings.
On the 10th row of the grid for the final race, he gained places at the start to move into 17th and stayed within striking distance of the points before a brush with defending champion Ash Sutton forced him wide and he fell back to 22nd.
“The touch was nothing major and he came up and said sorry after,”said Thompson.
“He is a champion and I am a rookie and although I tried to keep him behind me I knew at some point he’d say ‘I’m coming through like it or not’.
“The main thing for me is I’m racing everyone hard but fair and earning their respect. It was clear early on there was nothing anyone on the team could do to help us get the tyres to last.”