ETCC: Hartmann Honda Braga preview

James Thompson and Hartmann Honda Racing wants revenge at the European Touring Car Cup After having battled at the local circuits in this year's Danish Touringcar Championship Hartmann Honda Racing finishes off its 2009 season in a warmer...

James Thompson and Hartmann Honda Racing wants revenge at the European Touring Car Cup

After having battled at the local circuits in this year's Danish Touringcar Championship Hartmann Honda Racing finishes off its 2009 season in a warmer climate. At the Portuguese Braga circuit the team will be entering James Thompson and Per Poulsen for this year's European Touring Car Cup.

"We would like to get revenge for the Danish title that we lost," Hans Hartmann says of a season where James Thompson took most of the final wins and only lost the title due to his Australian commitments preventing him from driving in the last two races.

"I don't know, how other people estimate our chances in the race, but I do believe that we must rang among the favourites. At least I hope so," Hans Hartmann admits. But he also feels that the team is well prepared for the task ahead. "We don't fear any of the rival, and we have the advantage of taking two cars along, and that we will use in qualifying, where the 900 metre straight makes it vital with some slipstreaming, so that the lead car can help the following car up to speed."

Neither Hartmann Honda Racing, nor James Thompson and Per Poulsen have raced at the Portuguese circuit before. But that is not seen as a problem.

"We saw how James last year could end up with fastest time of the on his first visit ever to Jyllandsringen, so he will also be able to cope with this circuit," Hans Hartmann estimates. "Per is probably in for the challenge of his life, but I do feel that he will be able to grow with the task ahead. He will be through right out into it and then we will see what he can do. He might get a culture shock, but usually you end up returning much stronger from that."

"Most certainly it will be the biggest challenge I have been facing so far," Per Poulsen admits. "I am excited like a little kid. To get to a different country and race at a different circuit, where you have never raced before, and where it will be much faster that what you have been used to. That, I am looking forward to."

However, Hartmann Honda Racing's privateer does not have a clear and precise ambition for his personal results.

"The ambitions are difficult to say anything about, until we have had the first free practices. The aim must be to get James to win the title, and that is my job to help him and then make a job as good as possible for myself," Per Poulsen says.

"I do believe that we have the team and the cars to do it, so the only thing that can ruin things is actually me. The set-up is in order. We have the right people with us, and an optimistic estimate will be that I will be satisfied by finishing in the top 5. But I will do everything to get onto the tail of James. He must be the favourite, even though I know that Michel has won the last two years."

-credit: hartmann-racing.dk

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About this article
Series General
Drivers James Thompson , Per Poulsen