Today Hartmann Honda Racing can announce its plans for 2008 which once again will see the team drive in the Danish Touringcar Championship. But this year the team wants to get to the front of the field, and that is a reasonable aim. With the help...
Today Hartmann Honda Racing can announce its plans for 2008 which once again will see the team drive in the Danish Touringcar Championship. But this year the team wants to get to the front of the field, and that is a reasonable aim. With the help of Michael Larsen of Honda Denmark the team has done a deal with Honda Motor Europe and with his official partners of JAS Motorsport that will give it the benefit of being able to go to the races with two cars running with the newest engine and suspension specifications.
Thank to such agreement and with the co-operation of N-Technology, Hartmann Honda Racing will take advantage of last year's third in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, James Thompson, to drive alongside Dane Jens Moller.
"I will not want to make up the numbers in Denmark," James Thompson says. "The guys at Hartmann are very enthusiastic, and I see no reason why we cannot win races or be on the podium consistently."
James Thompson is no mister average. Last year he won two FIA WTCC races for N-Technology towards finishing third overall in the series, and this year he will be racing a Honda Accord for the Italian team in the international series. For more than a decade he has been a top driver in European touring car racing, winning the prestigious British Touring Car Championship in 2002 and 2004. But Denmark will mark the beginning of a new chapter for him.
"I have only seen the series from the outside, so I don't know it that well, but I will do as best as I can," James Thompson says. "If you have a good team and a good working ethics, I cannot see why we cannot win on any track, we will race at. Our chances should be as good as anyone."
Hartmann Honda Racing is very satisfied to have strengthened its set-up with the addition of James Thompson.
"I am very happy and also proud that by using our international contacts we have managed to make a deal with James so that he will be racing the DTC races that doesn't collide with his WTCC programme," team owner Hans Hartmann says.
"I got a very positive impression of James, when I spent time with him at a test in Valencia earlier in the year, when he drove one of our cars. James is a very serious and gifted driver, but on top of that he is also good company."
The deal with James Thompson is however only one piece in the jigsaw puzzle that aims at bringing Hartmann Honda Racing to the front of the field in the Danish Touringcar Championship. The cooperation with JAS Motorsport will include technical developments during the season but also technical assistance and race engineering.
"James's Italian engineer from the WTCC, Marco Calovolo, will be travelling to Denmark with him," Hans Hartmann explains. "Marco has previously worked in both DTM and Formula One, so he knows a thing or two. Likewise Mauro Festa from JAS Motorsport will be engineering Jens Moller's car."
"I am really looking forward to getting the new season started," the team's Danish driver says. "Since the autumn we have worked hard at making the team stronger in every area, and I am convinced that we will be moving in the right direction, and with the package that we have put together for this year, all we drivers now have to do is to kick the football into the goal, so that we can get the team's first victory."
"I sincerely hope that we will be succeeding at the right end of the field. It is now or never," Hans Hartmann says.