ETCC: Hartmann Racing 2010 season preview

Hartmann Racing ready to defend its 2009 win in the European Touring Car Cup This coming weekend not only marks the start of Hartmann Racing's 2010 season. The Danish racing team will also be starting the defence of the international title, it...

Hartmann Racing ready to defend its 2009 win in the European Touring Car Cup

This coming weekend not only marks the start of Hartmann Racing's 2010 season. The Danish racing team will also be starting the defence of the international title, it claimed last year - FIA's official European Touring Car Cup, which was achieved by the team's British driver, James Thompson. The title was won at the Braga circuit in Portugal, and it will be at the very same circuit the team starts its 2010 season.

"We know the set-up for the circuit from last year, and as the weather forecast predicts rain like last year, we have a good baseline," team owner Hans Hartmann says. Hartmann Racing will be fielding two cars. One will be driven by James Thompson who starts his third season with the team, while the other will be driven by Tomas Engstrom. It will be his first start for Hartmann Racing, but he has several years' of experience driving a Honda and racing in the ETCC series.

"I believe that Tomas will do a good job," Hans Hartmann says. "Tomas has been working with Mugen on the engine side, so he will be bringing both his own engine and his own technician with him, while Neil Brown has come up with a new engine for James, which they will service in the usual way. It will be quite interesting to see, how the two engines match each other, but no matter what I believe we will be competitive. James was a winner last year with the Neil Brown engine, and Tomas has also been doing well with his Mugen engine."

Since the victory in last year's European Touring Car Cup Hartmann Racing's two Honda Accords have yet to be driven in anger at a race circuit. That will happen on Friday, where a roll out is scheduled. But that doesn't worry the Danish team.

"The first three weeks of March have been spent stripping down the cars completely and rebuilding them again. It involved a lot of work, but I feel that we are well-prepared," Hans Hartmann says. He is looking forward to the start of the season as does the defending champion.

"I am looking forward to getting back in action again," James Thompson says. "I have not driven a race car since last year's WTCC race in Macau, but I don't see that as a problem. I have a feeling that this year we will also be able to fight for a place on the podium."

Last year James Thompson claimed the win in the FIA European Touring Car Cup when this was a single weekend event at the Braga circuit. Now the two races in Portugal will form the first third of a series, which also takes in race a Salzburgring in Austria and Franciacorta in Italy.

"We would like to get on the rostrum this weekend, and I feel that we stand a good chance of claiming a 1-2 win in the opening round of the series," Hans Hartmann estimates.

-source: hartmann racing

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Series General
Drivers James Thompson , Tomas Engstrom