Thompson moves closer to the championship lead with Top 5 Result Canadian driver Jake Thompson continued his push to become the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Champion with a solid top 5 finish at Autobahn Country Club this past weekend. The...
Thompson moves closer to the championship lead with Top 5 Result
Canadian driver Jake Thompson continued his push to become the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Champion with a solid top 5 finish at Autobahn Country Club this past weekend. The weekend proved dramatic as Thompson had to overcome a number of obstacles, before eventually bringing the car home in 4th position. The result moves him within 20 points of the championship lead, having reduced the point's gap at each of the last 3 events. With 240 points still up for grabs, the title race is wide open with the top 5 separated by only 29 points.
Cloudy skies and heavy rains greeted the TDI Cup drivers as they arrived at the circuit located just outside of Chicago. With rain tires fitted to the cars for practice, the weather cleared just as the Jetta's hit the track, and the drivers were forced to contend with a drying track. After setting the fastest time in the early part of the session Thompson pulled in early to save his tires in case of more rain later in the event. Despite a rapidly drying track, Thompson's early lap would still be the 4th quickest of the session.
There were plenty of reasons to be optimistic as Thompson was the first car on course to start the 30 minute qualifying session. However, he would get overly aggressive on his first timed lap, spinning the car in Turn 2, and popping both left side tires. After negotiating all 19 turns of the Autobahn circuit while riding on two rims, Thompson was able to pit for new rubber. The incredible Volkswagen mechanic's would have the car back on track in no time, giving Jake the opportunity to salvage the session. Unfortunately, Thompson re-entered in heavy traffic and would struggle to find a clear lap eventually ending up 7th on the grid.
Knowing he had a car capable of running up front, Thompson would look to move up early in the race. As the lights went out at the start he slotted into 7th, but would look to the inside of two cars, making it three wide into Turn 9. Unfortunately Thompson would come out on the losing end, and be demoted back to 8th in the process. Still, he had a fast car, and had moved up to 6th when the field was slowed for a full course caution after the 3rd lap. When the field went green again, Thompson would again make steady progress, moving into 4th on the second to last lap, and catching up to the battle for 2nd just as they took the chequered flag. It was a solid result as he finished ahead of most of his championship rivals, but still a little bit disappointing as the #19 car was clearly capable of fighting for the win.
By finishing all 10 laps, Racing for the Right To Play raised another $620 dollars, bringing the season total close to $7000! The next event for the TDI Cup is a double header at Road America August 20-22, and with the championship battle so tight there is sure to be drama at the historic 4 mile road course.