Thompson enjoys good test ahead of British Touring Car Championship

PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 July 2020

Bobby Thompson in action at Snetterton (pic Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Bobby Thompson in action at Snetterton (pic Jakob Ebrey Photography)


Hornchurch driver Bobby Thompson and the GKR team ended its testing for the KwikFit British Touring Car Championship season with a productive two days at Snetterton.

Bobby Thompson in action at Snetterton (pic Jakob Ebrey Photography)Bobby Thompson in action at Snetterton (pic Jakob Ebrey Photography)

The multi award-winning, Essex-based motor dealership joined its rival teams on track at the Norfolk circuit as preparations continue for the opening rounds of the season at Donington Park next month, with all 26 cars set to compete this year being in action.

The test provided Thompson and fellow driver James Gornall with the opportunity to log more valuable mileage at the wheel of the Audi S3s they will campaign this season, with the pair facing all manner of conditions across the two days of running.

With the coronavirus pandemic having halted on track running since March, the team used the opening morning as something of a shakedown, with the two drivers looking to get used to the car again before going for a quick time.

However, the arrival of rain during the lunchtime break would then impact proceedings and prevented either driver from setting a representative lap on the overall timesheets.

The pair would show encouraging pace in tricky wet conditions for the remainder of the test, most notably during Wednesday’s two sessions where the two Audis ran inside the top 15 throughout.

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Gornall would set the quicker time of the pair to end the second day just 0.006s outside the top ten with Thompson only two-tenths of a second behind in 15th place.

Despite the lack of dry running, the team was able to secure plenty of valuable data that will now be evaluated back at base before focus turns to the busy start to the season, with the Donington Park meeting on 1/2 August kick-starting a run of four events in a five week spell.

Thompson said: “It’s been a good test for us, although the conditions have certainly made it tricky on track.

“As we’d not been out since the launch day at Silverstone, the plan was to use the first morning as a bit of a shakedown and it meant we didn’t set a quick time before the rain arrived.

“From there, I think we showed solid pace on the first afternoon as I got more of a feel for the car, and I was able to start pushing despite the conditions.

“Wednesday was tricky because the conditions were changing all the time and you could leave the pits thinking it was improving, but the rain would be coming down again by the time you got round to start a quick lap. I don’t think we really showed our true pace as a result, but we’ve ended up in a decent place on the times.

“I think we’ve been able to learn a good amount over these two days and I reckon there is a good chance that we’ll have to deal with some rain before the end of the season where we can put it into practice. Although more dry running would have been good, I’m happy with where we stand going into the start of the season.”

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