Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rookie Bobby Thompson has a chance to take second place overall in the season-long Dunlop Forever Forward standings as his debut season in Britain’s highest profile domestic race series reaches its conclusion at the fabled Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in Kent this weekend.
Across the opening nine weekends and 27 races of the BTCC’s record breaking 60th anniversary season the 22 year-old Hornchurch based driver has made up 116 places, putting him seventh in the Dunlop Forever Forward standings and while overall BTCC title contender Tom Ingram sits clear atop the standings with 156 places gained, Thompson and his #19 Team HARD with Trade Price Cars VW CC team are just ten places behind Ash Sutton, who sits second in the DFF standings.
“Although we have had a lot of misfortune this year and some issues with the car itself, the fact that I have been able to gain 116 places during the races shows that when we have got pace we have really, really good speed in our package,” says the 2017 VW Cup Series Champion. “Of course it also shows that we haven’t always been that great in qualifying, which is something we have to work on next season but everything about 2018 has always been a learning process with the goal of coming back much stronger in every area in 2019.”
With DFF points calculated in every race, with one point for each position a driver gains based on their start to their finishing positions, Thompson will not only be fighting to add to his championship points tally but he will also have one eye on the progress of Sutton (126 places gained), Josh Cook (123), Senna Proctor (121), Stephen Jelley (120) and Rob Austin (120) this weekend.
“On one hand I’m buzzing about heading back to Brands because it is my home track and I have a lot of family coming to watch me and the Grand Prix circuit is a track I love and have gone really well at in the past,” added the current BRDC Rising Star, who currently sits tenth in the Jack Sears Trophy points table. “But Brands also marks the end of my rookie season and the BTCC is like a drug you get addicted to. I don’t want the year to end and we are all working really hard to make sure we can continue to progress in 2019. I have got some great sponsors who have been with me through thick and thin and while we have had a tough first season in the BTCC I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
“I also want to end the year on a high note to say thank you to my mechanics who have worked hard for me all year and to Tony Gilham who has been a massive supporter of mine and it is safe to say that without him I wouldn’t be in the BTCC this year. But most of all I want to give my mum and dad a few more points scoring finishes to celebrate as they work harder than anyone else to help me achieve my dream of being a BTCC driver.”
Another bumper crowd is expected to watch Thompson and his fellow BTCC stars in action this weekend but for those who can’t make it, here is where you can see ‘Bobster’ in action.
Saturday September 29th
09:30 - 10:10am - Free Practice 1
12:05 - 12:45pm - Free Practice 2
15:20 - 15:50pm – Qualifying (Live on http://www.itv.com/btcc/qualifying-live)
Sunday September 30th
09:00 - 09:30am - Pit lane Walkabout/Drivers Autograph Session
11:35am - BTCC Race 1 (Live on ITV4)
12:45pm – BTCC Drivers Parade
14:25pm - BTCC Race 2 (Live on ITV4)
17:15pm - BTCC Race 3 (Live on ITV4)
Pic Credit: AMSoul Images