THOMPSON IN TOP TEN DESPITE SMASH N.Technology's James Thompson qualified a remarkable 10th for tomorrow's round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship at Porto despite crashing on his flying lap. The 33-year-old clipped the tyre wall...
THOMPSON IN TOP TEN DESPITE SMASH
N.Technology's James Thompson qualified a remarkable 10th for tomorrow's round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship at Porto despite crashing on his flying lap.
The 33-year-old clipped the tyre wall in the final chicane of the unforgiving street circuit while on a fantastic lap, but despite ripping the front-right wheel and upright off his Alfa Romeo 156 and crossing the line on three wheels he still set a time good enough for 10th. Had he completed the lap without the accident, the result of being off line by only a few millimetres, he would certainly have been even higher up the grid.
Team-mate Olivier Tielemans opted to conserve fresh tyres during the qualifying as he must serve a ten-place grid penalty after changing his engine on Friday.
Andrea Muller, Team Manager
"James was on his fastest lap when he crashed and it would have put him in the top three. But that is part of the sport. We're looking forward to tomorrow."
James Thompson, car number 15
"On that lap I was absolutely at 100%. If I hadn't had the accident I'd have been a bit further up the grid, but it's an unforgiving circuit and I was going all out to get the best possible time. There's no margin for error because the chicane is so narrow and I was only just off line, but still to be tenth on the grid is a very good effort for the team. Hopefully we can build on that tomorrow and get some more points."
Olivier Tielemans, car number 16
"There was no point in trying to get up the grid as with the penalty I would have to start at the back anyway. It made sense to save some fresh tyres for tomorrow so I only used one set. It's a street circuit and the races are going to be very eventful, so hopefully in the races I should be able to make good progress."