N.TECHNOLOGY'S THOMPSON HANDLES THE WET
N.Technology driver James Thompson qualified 12th today in Valencia with the Honda Accord Euro R Super 2000, developed together with JAS Motorsport, despite the car having never run in wet conditions before.
A thunderstorm 30 minutes before the half-hour qualifying session drenched the track, sending many of Thompson's rivals off the track as struggled to adapt to the level of grip. The N.Technology driver avoided any spins however, and kept improving the car and subsequent lap times, despite having no experience of the championship's new wet tyres.
With just five days of testing behind it since the project started in January, all in dry conditions, Thompson set a time of 2:00.543secs with his final lap of the qualifying session: a time good enough for 12th position.
Thompson will start the first of Sunday's two races from the sixth row of the grid, meaning he is within touching distance of the crucial top eight points-scoring positions for the car's debut in the World Touring Car Championship.
James Thompson, car number 15
"Obviously it's the first time in the rain with the car and we were just getting quicker each lap. If we had more time we could have worked on the set-up of the car and gone quicker. In a way it's disappointing to be 12th because now we have some experience in the wet we could have gone a lot faster."
Mauro Sipsz, Team principal
"Qualifying in the rain today didn't help us on our first race weekend of the season. James still did a great job to improve his lap time at the end of the session. N.Technology is all about winning and success and we look forward to getting back to our usual ways."
Eurosport's WTCC coverage continues with Race One will be shown live on Sunday 18 May from 12:00 (CET) on Eurosport Asia Pacific with Race Two starting at 15:00 (CET), both on Eurosport International and Asia Pacific.