Thompson targets Sugo podium Irish racing driver Gary Thompson is looking to score another podium finish at the penultimate round of the 2010 Japanese F3 Championship this weekend. The 18-year-old Dublin-based racer, who is backed by Cebu ...
Thompson targets Sugo podium
Irish racing driver Gary Thompson is looking to score another podium finish at the penultimate round of the 2010 Japanese F3 Championship this weekend.
The 18-year-old Dublin-based racer, who is backed by Cebu Pacific Air and Aviation Display, has no prior experience of the 2.336-mile circuit, but enters the event in confident mood after a strong showing at Okayama last time out.
Thompson will also be looking to gain as much millage as possible at the venue as he continues to build his knowledge of the country's most prestigious race tracks in his rookie season of Japanese F3, before a concerted championship attack in 2011.
"I don't know a great deal about Sugo as I've never been to the circuit before," said Thompson. "I've done my research though and looked at some videos of on-board footage from last year's round. It looks like an interesting track and quite high-speed."
With just two practice sessions on Friday, the Achievement by KCMG Racing driver is looking to learn the circuit quickly, against a field of rivals already familiar with its layout, in preparation for Saturday afternoon's qualifying and ahead of the weekend's two races.
"We can't afford to waste any time in free practice because I need to learn the track, while also working on the car's set-up," explained Thompson, who is the first Irishman to race in the prestigious Japanese F3 Championship. "The team already have some experience at Sugo from the past two years in F3, so at least we'll have a solid base set-up and data to work from, but we'll definitely need to refine it before qualifying starts."
With KCMG having worked hard to improve the car prior to their recent trip to Okayama, Thompson admits that his Dallara won't show many changes this weekend, although he and the team have made some subtle adjustments.
"There are no really big changes for Sugo, but we've looked at some of the issues we had in the last round and we've tried to iron them out," he said. "It's just a matter of refining things a little.
"I'm targeting a podium this weekend - that has to be the aim. There are only two rounds to go and for me it's important to finish the season on a high. Nothing is finalised with regards my race programme for 2011, but the plan is to come back for a crack at the Japanese F3 title so every bit of experience I gain at this kind of circuit could prove invaluable."