N.TECHNOLOGY ALFA ROMEO DENIED POLE AT THE 11TH HOUR Thompson led the way at Brands Hatch today Today's FIA World Touring Car Championship time sheets were dominated by N.Technology Alfa Romeo's James Thompson right up until the last minute...
N.TECHNOLOGY ALFA ROMEO DENIED POLE AT THE 11TH HOUR
Thompson led the way at Brands Hatch today
Today's FIA World Touring Car Championship time sheets were dominated by N.Technology Alfa Romeo's James Thompson right up until the last minute of this afternoon's qualifying.
In a maddening turn of events, Thompson missed out on pole by just 0.014s to Chevrolet's Alain Menu after his final run was interrupted by yellow flags. He will start alongside the Swiss driver in tomorrow's first race, ahead of all his main title challengers including every BMW and SEAT driver.
Despite that, the Harrogate racer could not hide his disappointment at not securing the top spot for the home crowds after recording the fastest time in every Free Practice earlier in the day.
Team-mate Olivier Tielemans was only 1.293s behind Thompson but the exceptionally tight competition within WTCC means he will start from 21st on the grid.
Thompson giving his reaction after qualifying
James Thompson, Car Number 15
"After this morning our expectations were a little bit higher and I thought I had a bit in reserve should we require it towards the end of the session. It was just unfortunate that we got a yellow flag on my final run.
"At the end of the day, we're here with a heavy car and we're very, very competitive. I'm in a good position but it's frustrating because you want to be on pole position on your home circuit and you definitely don't want to be on the outside of the track for the start at Brands Hatch. It's a straight drag race into the first corner and there's the gravel trap and everyone runs wide. You're better to be first or third."
Olivier Tielemans, Car Number 16
"It's a very tricky circuit and I've never driven the Grand Prix version. Despite that you can imagine that I'm not happy with my position. I should be nearer the front."
Eurosport's WTCC coverage of race one will be shown live tomorrow (Sunday) from 12.00 (CET) onwards and live coverage of race two starting at 15.30 (CET).