INCREDIBLE RACING FROM N.TECHNOLOGY AT MONZA Racing fans were left breathless today as N.Technology Alfa Romeo provided some incredible FIA World Touring Car Championship action at Monza, Italy. The result was two podiums for lead driver ...
INCREDIBLE RACING FROM N.TECHNOLOGY AT MONZA
Racing fans were left breathless today as N.Technology Alfa Romeo provided some incredible FIA World Touring Car Championship action at Monza, Italy.
The result was two podiums for lead driver James Thompson, which sees him climb to fourth in the drivers championship, ahead of most Chevrolet, SEAT and BMW works drivers, just 12 points behind the lead with two races left to go.
Highlights included Thompson's impressive climb from eighth on the grid in race one to a third place finish. The British driver had the crowds cheering as he passed Gabriele Tarquini with one lap to go in a drag race through Curva Grande.
Thompson's Alfa Romeo 156 held the outside line going into the ultra-fast turn, giving him the inside on the entry to the following chicane. He kept his foot down and sailed onto the podium.
Thompson passes Tarquini for third place in race one at Monza
In the second race Thompson was similarly robust, holding his own as the top six cars squabbled over position in the first few laps. The 32-year-old took advantage, moving from sixth on the grid up into contention for a podium.
He then had Rob Huff's Chevrolet in his sights, and with three laps to go Thompson lined himself up on the start-finish straight. The move came off perfectly as Thompson charged at the first corner, stealing third from Huff for his second podium of the day and securing the race's fastest lap in the process.
Thompson passes Huff for third in race two at Monza
Team-mate Olivier Tielemans did not finish race one after Tomas Engstroem ran into him on lap five. In the second race, however, Tielemans raced brilliantly to finish 12th from 25th on the grid.
James Thompson, car number 15
"The championship is so close that if you can make the podium twice running you should be very satisfied.
"I knew the car was fast over race distance so I had a twinkle in my eye this morning. I was just planning to stay out of trouble, drive my own race and pick off a few cars where I could so I'm very happy.
"I think the position we're in at the moment has to be put in the context of the passion within the team. We've narrowed the gap in the championship to the point where we could actually win it. I'm very pleased and proud that we've managed to achieve that and it shouldn't be underestimated."
Olivier Tielemans, car number 16
"It was very exciting racing. I had a bad start in the second race but in hindsight that was lucky because it meant I missed the lap one accident.
"Engstroem was right on my bumper in this race too, pushing me. On the straight line he was very quick and he went to overtake me. In the first race he kicked me off and I said to myself, ‘this is not going to happen again!' So I out-braked him and kept my place; I'm very proud of that because he is a Swedish champion."
Mauro Sipsz, Team Principal
"The goal has been third position and if we get that, the goal is to win the championship! With only two drivers, no money and no tests we have the opportunity to win the championship and that is incredible after not scoring any points in the first four races."
Andrea Muller, Team Manager
"For sure, the next round at Macau is a lottery but our first subject was to try to have the possibility to play in this lottery so for us, it is a very good situation. James was fantastic. Two podiums in Monza is very good for us. The car is competitive here and we'll see in Macau."
The final round of the 2007 FIA WTCC season will be at Macau, on 18 November.