The single-car Thompson Racing team battled against teams with up to five cars under their tents.
Dublin, Penn. - Entering his rookie season with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Series, Colin Thompson hoped to crack the top 10. As the 2013 season came to a close, Thompson and his Thompson Racing team finished eighth in the Platinum Cup standings, exceeding their planned expectations.
"I have no regrets and no complaints about the 2013 season," Thompson said. "We did great as a single car team and wanted to break the top 10 all season and we did a lot better than that. It was a learning and progressing year for us as a team and for myself and we're looking forward to next year."
Next year Thompson hopes to join another team as Thompson Racing competed in its final race as a group at the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans. The 19-year-old is excited to have a teammate he can share data with throughout the year.
"The biggest struggle this year was not having a teammate to compare to," Thompson explained. "Almost every other team I was fighting against in the top 12 or so had at least one other driver under their tent. Going into next year I think I need someone else to race with in order to finish in the top three every single race."
Thompson's expectations for the 2014 season include landing on the podium consistently and making a run for the title. Next year will be brand new for all parties involved in the series, which will often run alongside the newly-formed TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
One aspect of his driving he would like to improve upon for next year is qualifying results. Thompson understands the direct correlation between qualifying well and finishing each 45-minute sprint in the top three. His ultimate goal for 2014 is to be the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama series champion.
In 2013, Thompson ran at eight venues and collected two podiums. His first podium performance came in Round 3 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and his second came in Round 15 when he placed second - his highest finish of the season. Thompson also posted four top five finishes in his IMSA debut. Out of all the vehicles he has raced during his career, Thompson enjoyed the Porsche GT3 Cup car most.
"The Porsche 911 is a purpose-built proper race car that really allows you to step back and let the car do a lot of the work because it's designed to do that," Thompson said. "It's built to make you go faster around race tracks."
And Thompson hopes to go fast around race tracks for the rest of his life, behind the wheel of a Porsche. He has learned what it takes to master the car, what is important for team strategy on race weekends and what the level of competition is like in the series. He also determined what he wants his future to look like after racing at eight venues behind the No. 14 Porsche GT3 Cup car.
"I finally found the direction I want to go in and it's Porsche and sportscar racing," Thompson said. "That's what I want to do for the rest of my life. The last four years I've been in road racing has been a huge learning curve and now I'm starting to fine-tune and do the things I need to in order to become Porsche material and professional race car driver material."