James Thompson claimed the second successive FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) points finish for the Honda Accord Euro R Super 2000 with a strong drive to seventh place in race one at Brno, Czech Republic.
After an excellent performance in qualifying to take seventh on the grid, his best qualifying position of the season, Thompson made a superb start to run fifth in the first half of the race. Despite slipping behind Augusto Farfus and Yvan Muller in the closing stages, the result proved the car's ability to show strong performance over both a single lap in qualifying and a ten-lap race distance.
With a slot on the front row for race two, Thompson was on course for another points finish after running in the top three during the early stages of the race. He came close to taking second position before being forced down the order when he was hit by several other cars; on one occasion hard enough that only Thompson's superb car control prevented him from spinning.
Despite dropping out of the top ten, Thompson fought back, finishing in tenth place after making up two positions in the final lap of the race.
Whilst the 5.4-kilometre Brno circuit favoured rear-wheel drive machinery, the front-wheel drive Honda Accord Euro R Super 2000's strong performance showed it is getting closer to the front of the WTCC field after only making its racing debut one month ago at Valencia.
The next championship rounds will be held at Portuguese circuit Estoril on 13 July 2008.
James Thompson, car number 15"I'm really pleased with this result. To be in a position to get such a strong result after where we started from in Valencia is testament to the work the team has put in. We're in there fighting for points which is very good at this stage. I was determined to keep the car in the top eight so it's a very satisfying finish for us. The second race was disappointing because it was impossible to defend with people hitting me all the time. But to take the positive from that it shows that we can run in the top three and hold our own, which is very promising for the rest of the season."
Andrea Muller, Team Manager "The first race was a very good result for us. James drove a very clever race and that gave us our best result so far. The biggest thing to take from the race is that we showed the car has speed in qualifying and the race. To be able to qualify and finish seventh is very good because the Brno circuit is a real test of the car and shows that we are still improving. In the second race we could have been fifth or sixth, but unfortunately some of the other drivers on the track cannot race as cleanly as James can."
FIA WTCC - Brno Round nine result 1. Alex Zanardi (ITA), BMW 320si 2. Felix Porteiro (ESP), BMW 320si 3. Alain Menu (SUI), Chevrolet Lacetti 4. Augusto Farfus (BRA), BMW 320si 5. Jorg Muller (GER), BMW 320si 6. Gabriele Tarquini (ITA), SEAT Leon TDI 7. James Thompson (GBR), Honda Accord Euro R Super 2000 8. Yvan Muller (FRA), SEAT Leon TDI
FIA WTCC Championship - Brno Round ten result 1. Gabriele Tarquini (ITA), SEAT Leon TDI 2. Alex Zanardi (ITA), BMW 320si 3. Rob Huff (GBR), Chevrolet Lacetti 4. Augusto Farfus (BRA), BMW 320si 5. Felix Porteiro (ESP), BMW 320si 6. Yvan Muller (FRA), SEAT Leon TDI 7. Alain Menu (SUI), Chevrolet Lacetti 8. Jorg Muller (GER), BMW 320si 10. James Thompson (GBR), Honda Accord Euro R Super 2000