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Thompson stakes declare for full-time BTCC seat with first BMW take a look at

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The 28-year-old Thompson, who’s regarded by many collection insiders as a champion of the long run in the suitable circumstances, is now working flat-out with the Sunbury squad on making an attempt to place a deal collectively to start out the 2024 season at Donington Park on the finish of this month.

Thompson, who has all the time struggled to lift a funds to compete within the BTCC, didn’t register on the timing at Manufacturers as a result of his BMW 330e M Sport was not fitted with a transponder.

That was as a result of he was not operating with the Cosworth-supplied hybrid increase system, that means he was roughly 30bhp down on the opposite WSR BMWs of Jake Hill, Colin Turkington and Adam Morgan.

Regardless of this, Thompson was clocked within the 48.3s bracket on two separate WSR stopwatches and his onboard information logging, which might have put him within the prime 10 within the occasions on his first day in a rear-wheel-drive BTCC automobile.

Within the early operating within the moist morning session, WSR recorded Thompson at a 53.50s on his very first run in the course of the opening hour, at a time when the tempo was set by reigning champion Ash Sutton’s Alliance Racing Ford on 53.350s, with Hill the quickest BMW on 53.363s.

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“With the hybrid being a much bigger soar this yr [due to the new BTCC regulations doubling the boost gain], I’m pretty proud of that,” Thompson advised Autosport.

“Within the moist, I acquired out of the automobile within the morning saying I’d be prepared to enter a qualifying session – I used to be over the moon with it.

“We made some modifications for the dry, and I used to be joyful to really feel these modifications.

“After all, I’ve acquired my head round front-wheel drive and what issues do, however rear-wheel drive is clearly totally different, so it was good to have a bit play and go in a route I like, which is stiffer.”

Bobby Thompson, Staff BMW

Photograph by: Uncredited

Thompson was engineered for the day by John Waterman, who has led growth of the 3-Collection over the previous few seasons and ran Turkington from 2020 to 2023.

“Within the moist we simply acquired our eye in and made a couple of modifications,” added Thompson.

“I didn’t care what the opposite guys did with the automobile – it was nearly getting snug, and clearly they’ve pushed the BMW for years, so that they had a pre-feeling coming into the take a look at of what they’d wish to really feel.

“I used to be coming in from scratch, so I might go in my very own route.”

Due to lack of funds for his test-only deal, Thompson was restricted to at least one set of contemporary Goodyear slicks for efficiency runs.

“Now I do know what I do know, I’d have beloved one other set of shoes – I reckon I might have introduced it all the way down to a 48.1s,” he mentioned.

“Thanks to WSR and Dick [Bennetts, team principal] for what they’ve achieved to get me out on the day.

“Hopefully issues can work their magic and it may get me on the grid.”

Bobby Thompson, Team BMW

Bobby Thompson, Staff BMW

Photograph by: Uncredited

Bennetts mentioned: “The thought behind the take a look at was to generate publicity. Does that flip into cash? We don’t know.

“He did a really respectable job contemplating it was his first day in a rear-wheel-drive touring automobile.

“He had rather a lot to study, for instance about brake steadiness, and that takes some time with anybody, however he did very effectively.

“We have been very impressed along with his suggestions, his perspective, and he didn’t have any spins.

“He’s a pleasant man off the observe and good to work with on the observe, and he did an amazing job first trip.”

Whereas the chances are towards Thompson being within the automobile for subsequent week’s official take a look at at Croft, the D-day for whether or not he begins the season is the next week’s BTCC Launch Day and take a look at at Donington Park – scene of the opening spherical.

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“I don’t come from cash, and even a bit bit of cash in motorsport phrases is an insane amount of cash,” mentioned Thompson.

“We’d like some funding, and we’re each avenue we’ve acquired.

“We’ve acquired some irons within the fireplace, however rather a lot’s acquired to come back collectively.

“We’ll maintain pushing – we’ve acquired the perfect individuals on it.”

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