ETCC: Hartmann Racing Braga race report

Denmark's Hartmann Racing claims 1-2 win in the first European Touring Car Cup race Hartmann Racing got the start it had wished for, when it began its 2010 season by taking part in the opening round of the FIA European Touring Car Cup. In the ...

Denmark's Hartmann Racing claims 1-2 win in the first European Touring Car Cup race

Hartmann Racing got the start it had wished for, when it began its 2010 season by taking part in the opening round of the FIA European Touring Car Cup. In the first of Sunday's two races the Danish team claimed a 1-2 win, and when a third place was also achieved in the second race, its driver James Thompson is now leading the championship, which he won last year.

"It was a brilliant result - a very fine result," team owner Hans Hartmann says from Portugal. The weekend began with something that looked like Scandinavian weather with rain, but ended with sunshine and 28 degrees C temperatures.

"We suffered from the heat. Overall, we were fastest when it was wet, but when it was dry, we were struggling. We could do a single fast lap in the dry, but on the following laps we were having trouble," Hans Hartmann explains. "The 1-2 win we claimed in the first race was a difficult win. We did not just dominate things, but it was nice that we succeeded."

The first of Sunday's two races saw James Thompson win, while Hartmann Racing's new signing, Tomas Engstrom, had to battle to climb from fourth to second place. In the second race the top eight from the first race had to start in reverse order, and that meant starting positions as number seven and eight for the two Honda drivers in the race, which had a standing start.

"There is a 900 metre straight in Braga and with a standing start it is difficult to follow the BMWs," Hans Hartmann explains. "It was difficult to keep up with them, and our chances did not get better, when Tomas got involved in situations with contact."

"I got rammed so that the steering wheel was 90 degrees wrong, but also the suspension, the steering rack and the dampers were damaged, so it was quite good that I managed to get the car home and score some points," the Swede explains, upon finishing in seventh place.

"Personally, I was glad to be racing again," James Thompson says after a weekend where he claimed a win in the first race and third place in the second. "It was the first time since my accident in Macau in November that I have been driving a racing car, and I could feel that. I was a bit rusty during qualifying, but I managed to claim pole position. In the first race I was put under real pressure from Kristian Poulsen."

The results of Sunday's two races at the Braga circuit means that James Thompson and Tomas Engstrom are now holding first and fourth place respectively in the FIA European Touring Car Cup, where the next round takes place in Austria in July.

-source: hartmann racing

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Series General
Drivers James Thompson , Tomas Engstrom , Kristian Poulsen