Thompson loves Spa break
- Credit: Archant
Racer picks up maiden podium in Belgium
Hornchurch’s Bobby Thompson hightlighted his credentials as one of Britain’s brightest motorsport talents with a podium at the world famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
The 18-year-old came close to securing his maiden pole in the Volkswagen Racing Cup, before finishing third in the main race.
It came after a tough time in the previous round of the series and Thompson was happy to bounce back in fine fashion.
“After the last round at Silverstone, where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, I needed to prove to everyone that the form I showed at the start of the year was no fluke. I definitely feel that the whole team did that this weekend,” he said.
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It was the youngster’s first time at the Belgian track and he had only two hour-long sessions to get used to one of the most challenging layouts in Europe.
But Thompson clearly found it to his liking and lined up fourth on the grid, behind his Team HARD colleagues Michael Epps and Howard Fuller.
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“Howard and myself spent most of the session setting fastest times,” added Thompson.
“But right at the end Michael got a great tow on the pair of us and took pole, but I was still more than happy with fourth on the grid as I knew the car had such strong pace.”
In the race itself, Thompson made a solid start and was able to stay close to his team-mates at the head of the field.
The racers were haring through some of the world’s most renowned corners at speeds of well over 100mph, but the Hornchurch teenager was holding his own.
Thompson also managed to overtake the championship leader going into the Campus chicane and trained his sights on Fuller.
Unfortunately time ran out before Thompson could make further progress, but he was pleased with how the race went.
He added: “The car felt perfect and for the first few laps I had to change my mindset a little as I’ve been used to chasing the leaders all year and now I was with the leaders.
“On one occasion we went through Eau Rouge three abreast and nobody lifted. You see Eau Rouge on TV, but it doesn’t do it justice. The elevation change is unbelievable and when you come out of the corner you are doing well over 100mph.
“I’m really happy with the podium, though, as it proves to myself and the team that I can contend for wins.
“I’m even more pleased that I was part of the first all-Team HARD podium as the guys have worked really hard all year. But the icing on the cake was breaking the lap record.”
With six races remaining in the season, Thompson is keen to get back on the podium again in the next round at Brands Hatch.
“I can’t wait to get to Brands Hatch as the team have got some incredible hospitality and we have hired a corporate suite for the weekend to entertain guests at my local track,” he added.
“My goals for the year were to get top-five finishes, but now I have had a taste of the podium champagne I definitely want some more!”