Thompson lands lap record during Valencia test
More blistering pace summed up young Irish racer Gary Thompson's final outing of 2010 during a four-day test at Valencia on December 13-17 where the 18-year-old unofficially smashed the Spanish venue's lap record.
The promise of warmer conditions had brought together teams and drivers from many of Europe's leading domestic Formula 3 series, each of which use different specification Dallara chassis.
Thompson, who spent 2010 racing in Japan but switched to crack German outfit Performance Racing for the test, was behind the wheel of an older VW-powered F307 machine throughout the four days. Even so, that wasn't enough to prevent the Cebu Pacific Air-backed youngster from producing an excellent performance.
Following an impressive first two days, during which he went faster than many of the newer F309 cars whilst acclimatising to his unfamiliar surroundings, Thompson turned up the wick to record Circuit Ricardo Tormo's fastest ever lap for a German-spec Formula 3 car thanks to his 1m28.4sec effort.
Equally impressive were his exploits on day four when the Aviation Display-supported Dubliner finished second overall and again outclassed the majority of those in newer machinery.
Gary Thompson: "Needless to say it was a really good test for us. We spent the whole week working to a programme, the results of which were clear to see on the timesheets. I'll certainly be applying a lot of the data to next season's campaign when it will prove invaluable. Our pace was strong every day and we were the quickest of the German F3 runners for much of the week despite not placing too much emphasis on setting fast times. All in all it was a very positive test. We couldn't have hoped for much more."
Should that form continue, 2011 promises to be a special year for Thompson who is close to finalising a deal to remain in Formula 3.
"Nothing's yet been signed but negotiations are at an advanced stage and I hope to be able to announce something in January," he added.