Thompson targeting strong performance at Japanese F3 finale Irish racing driver Gary Thompson is hoping to end his first season in the Japanese F3 Championship with a strong performance in the final round at Autopolis next weekend. Thompson,...
Thompson targeting strong performance at Japanese F3 finale
Irish racing driver Gary Thompson is hoping to end his first season in the Japanese F3 Championship with a strong performance in the final round at Autopolis next weekend.
Thompson, who races for Achievement by KCMG Racing, picked up his second podium finish of 2010 at Sugo last time out and heads to the fast, 4.673 kilometre circuit determined to protect his fifth place in the championship standings and end his rookie campaign on a high.
"I'm 100% focused on getting points on the board and trying to maintain my position in the championship," said the 18-year-old Dubliner. "It's also important for me to finish the season strongly as a good base to work from for next year."
Thompson, who is supported by Cebu Pacific Air and Aviation Display, has never raced at the track near Hita City but heads to the meeting in confident mood after a successful test of Performance Racing's German F3 car at Oschersleben last week.
"I think I've learned a lot about some of the set-up issues I've had, so it was definitely a positive experience," he explained. "There are several things I can take back with me and use to my advantage. I feel like I have added a few new strings to my bow and hopefully the team will feel the benefit of these when I meet up with them again in Japan.
"I don't know the circuit, but I'm really looking forward to it. The track looks seriously quick with a lot of flowing high-speed corners. It's also got some elevation changes, incredible scenery surrounding it and a pretty interesting back-story, so there's a lot to look forward to! It should be a fantastic challenge for both me and the team."
Thompson, who was named Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Month for May, is also looking to carry forward the confidence gained by his fine third place at Sugo, as he searches for a repeat performance at Autopolis, while he also has an eye on the Macau Grand Prix, the prestigious event previously won by the likes of Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard, later in the year.
"Overall 2010 hasn't been an easy year, but it's certainly been one in which I've learned a great deal about myself and racing," said the teenager. "Everything I've learned this season will stay with me and make me a stronger driver for the future.
"For next year we are certain that we will continue to race in Japan and feel confident we can mount a strong assault on the title. My management team is working on this and a final decision will be announced in the coming months.
"In the meantime I have been offered tests by teams from a number of European series, including GP3, F3 Euro Series and British F3, and whilst some clash with my Japanese commitments I will definitely be doing some running in Europe at the end of this month, as well as in November and December.
"I'm also hoping to do the Macau Grand Prix, but nothing's confirmed yet. If I get the chance though I'll certainly take it, as it is wonderful track and some real legends of the sport have won the F3 race there."