N.TECHNOLOGY ALFA ROMEO SECURE 5TH IN CHAMPIONSHIP N.Technology Alfa Romeo's James Thompson delivered a crowd pleaser at Brands Hatch today, finishing on the podium for his home fans and consolidating fifth in the FIA World Touring Car ...
N.TECHNOLOGY ALFA ROMEO SECURE 5TH IN CHAMPIONSHIP
N.Technology Alfa Romeo's James Thompson delivered a crowd pleaser at Brands Hatch today, finishing on the podium for his home fans and consolidating fifth in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Only the BMW manufacturer drivers and SEAT's Yvan Muller are ahead of Thompson, an incredible achievement for N.Technology's small operation, which is holding the might of Chevrolet and SEAT's four other drivers at bay.
Thompson's Brands Hatch experience shone through in today's races as he battled with Alain Menu for the win in this morning's first outing. The Chevrolet driver, however, is no novice to the Kent track's twists and turns having won eight touring car races there in his racing career and today added a ninth.
That meant Thompson started from seventh in the day's second race courtesy of the reverse grid rule. The race momentum was interrupted twice by safety car periods, but the Alfa Romeo 156 held position fending off fierce competition from his earlier sparring partner and Augusto Farfus during the first half of the race.
Joerg Mueller inherited eighth place from Menu, however, following the Chevrolet driver's disqualification for failing to observe safety car procedure in an incident that resulted in Farfus' retirement. Thompson continued his defence, but had to concede two laps from the end with technical difficulties, finishing eighth.
The two points he receives mean Thompson pulls clear of Menu, who had been level on points, and has now secured fifth place in the Championship table.
N.Technology team-mate Olivier Tielemans, meanwhile, had a good second race after a disappointing debut to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit saw him finish 20th earlier in the day. From that starting position in race two, the 23-year-old made his way from 20th on the grid up to 14th in the 16-lap race.
Thompson on the podium in today's first race
James Thompson, car number 15
"Obviously we're pleased that we're having such a strong second half to the season. When we decided to develop the Alfa Romeo 156 at the beginning of the year, it was with the second half of the season in mind.
"Over the last six meetings we've scored more points than anyone else so I'm looking at the championship from that point of view, so we're winning at the moment! We just need a few more events!
"I didn't score quite as many points this weekend as I'd hoped for but you win some you lose some. I've been on the podium in all the last three race meetings and we're dragging ourselves back into a position we never dreamed of being in the championship. It's very romantic to think we could go to the last round in Macau and have a chance to feature in the championship."
Olivier Tielemans, car number 16
"The next round is at Monza and that's the only circuit where we've tested this season. Throughout the year we've developed the car more and more so from my point of view we should be very strong over there. I know the track and it will be a great experience to see all the Italian fans whilst driving an Alfa Romeo."
WTCC's rounds 19 and 20 will be at Monza, Italy on 6 / 7 October