METEORIC PERFORMANCE FROM N.TECHNOLOGY ALFA ROMEO Inspired driving from N.Technology Alfa Romeo's James Thompson saw the FIA World Touring Car Championship driver make up six places in one corner in today's first race at Oschersleben, Germany to...
METEORIC PERFORMANCE FROM N.TECHNOLOGY ALFA ROMEO
Inspired driving from N.Technology Alfa Romeo's James Thompson saw the FIA World Touring Car Championship driver make up six places in one corner in today's first race at Oschersleben, Germany to put himself third and later finished fourth in the day's final outing.
The 33-year-old Britain held his own in a frantic rolling start in round 15 and then navigated turn two carnage as the SEAT of Roberto Colciago and Alain Menu's Chevrolet came together at the chicane.
After three laps behind the safety car, Thompson then had to withstand the might of home favourite Jorg Muller in his BMW for the remaining 12 laps. Thompson kept his cool, despite frequent knocks as an unrelenting Muller pushed hard for the last remaining podium place.
Thompson's team-mate Olivier Tielemans made an equally good start in race one, launching himself from 17th on the grid to 11th by the end of the first lap. He then made a great passing move on the SEATof Monteiro and finished just one place off his first WTCC point after 16 laps.
The second race did not go so well for the Dutchman. He appeared to take a knock going into turn one that spun him into the gravel. He rejoined but later retired after struggling with the car.
Thompson almost repeated the day's earlier feat in round 16, gaining a place off the starting grid to face the rear bumper of Jordi Gene's SEAT diesel. Try as he might, the N.Technology driver could not find a way past the Spaniard but says he was happy with a third and fourth-place finish after qualifying ninth yesterday.
James Thompson, car number 15
"In race one I think I was probably in the worst place, in between the SEATs in front and the BMWs behind, but to be fair we were probably quicker than them. We didn't test here before and we just made progress throughout the weekend.
"Today's racing was really enjoyable. The car was strong and I know I was faster than Gene in race two but the diesel was pretty late on the brakes and he didn't make any mistakes.
"The Alfa Romeo will give us some great chances to win more races towards the end of the Championship and I'm really looking forward to racing in front of my home crowd at Brands Hatch."
Olivier Tielemans, car number 16 "In race one had a good view of the first lap: I saw a spinning Chevrolet and Peter Terting's car up in the air. I don't think Tom Coronel could avoid him. I went into first gear, very slow and lost one place to Jordi Gene.
"I just kept on racing and pushing after the restart, then I had Monteiro in front of me. I saw that Colciago hit Monteiro a bit and the wreckage was touching his rear wheel. I knew he had lost grip so I thought I'll pass him on the straight. I took his slip stream and the first corner is very good for out-braking. He came back but I consolidated.
"I'm really disappointed not to score a point in the second race. I've shown that I've got the speed but some things just need to come together to get those points. I think I deserve them!"
Marco Calovolo, Race Engineer for James Thompson
"We didn't expect such a good result because our starting position was poor after the bad luck we had yesterday.
"This is a special track. There is only one line and not so many points where you can overtake. Even if a car is half a second faster there is no way so I feel like for us a podium and p4 is very good; JT was very good!
"Yesterday was bad and today is much, much better! We are very happy."