Thompson starts new season in winning style
PUBLISHED: 11:00 05 May 2017
Hornchurch racer takes chequered flag at Rockingham
Hornchurch’s Bobby Thompson began the new Milteck VW Cup Championship season in style, with a lights-to-flag win at Rockingham.
The 20-year-old former Emerson Park pupil qualified on pole position for race one of the 2017 series, six-tenths of a second quicker than his nearest rival.
And Thompson set a new lap record in the process, before racing away for victory.
“I was feeling very confident with the Team Hard car,” he said. “After only a few laps I knew I was able to put in a quick lap, but I didn’t expect to be as quick as we were.”
Thompson had Tom Witts for company at the front of the grid, but showed maturity and composure throughout to hold the lead going into lap five, when the race was hit by a stint of yellow flags.
He then produced a staggering new lap record, slowly opening up a gap on Witts to record a dominant win by a six-second margin.
“I got an average start off the line, but I’d seen Witts on the outside who seemingly had got a great start, and he took us into turn two,” he added.
“I waited for my tyres to come in and was able to get a run through Gracelands and past exiting Tarzan.
“Naturally, I wasn’t happy when the safety car came out but I got away well and pulled a gap, managed my tyres and brought it home.”
Race two saw the cars line up on a reverse grid, with Thompson in sixth place and eager to see if he could repeat his incredible success.
He was able to show his pace and overtaking ability, making places up to fourth, but when going into the Tarzan Hairpin, a competitor crashed into the side of Thompson’s car.
The result of the collision was a heavily damaged suspension, but Thompson, looking to limit any further damage, continued to the end of the race, showing no shortage of skill to bring his stricken vehicle to the finish line.
He added: “I was imn fourth place and feeling confident for a good finish, when I was hit in the side going into the hairpin.
“I am gutted as this has really damaged our championship chances.
“We are going to carry on fighting for the rest of the season and try to claw back what points we can.”
“I must say thank you to my sponsors GKR scaffolding, Orlight, Braintree Motor Works, Amber Motorhomes, Brentwood Brickwork and Solar Advanced Systems for getting me out there.”