Touring Car ace James Thompson will return to the BTCC for the final three races at Silverstone (16 October) as part of the Airwaves Racing team. Thompson has been drafted in to the team’s Ford Focus line-up to play a supporting role to Mat Jackson in the deciding races of the season.
Thompson will take over the team’s third car, which was raced by Michael Caine at Rockingham and Brands Hatch and will support Jackson’s bid for the Independents’ title as well as in the overall standings. Currently, Jackson is fourth overall, 36 points behind championship leader Matt Neal. Airwaves Racing lie second in the Independents’ Team Trophy, 15 points off the lead.
“We’ve got to support Mat and give him the best chance in the last three races,” said team boss David Bartrum. “It’s not over for us in the overall points as the top three drivers are sure to battle with each other. We hope that James can jump in the car and get straight onto the pace of the front runners.”
Thompson (37) first raced in the BTCC in 1994 and went on to win the overall title in 2002 and again in 2004 and has since raced extensively in the World Touring Car Championship. He is due to test with Airwaves Racing tomorrow (11 October).
Talking of his return to the BTCC for the final three races of the season, Thompson said: “I’m genuinely excited to be coming back to compete in the finale of the Championship. I’m here to lend support to Mat and the Airwaves team in their quest for the title and try not to cause too much mischief out on the track!”
He added: “The test tomorrow will be my first time in the Airwaves Focus and although it’s never easy to step straight into a new car, it’s still got four wheels and steering wheel like the rest of them so I should hope that all my years’ racing will deliver a great result for the team at Silverstone.”
Bartrum acknowledged the work of Caine over the last two BTCC race weekends. “Michael has had a taster of the BTCC to help him with his plans for next year,” said Bartrum. “I’m delighted with the progress he made; he had a mountain to climb in a very short time with no testing.”
Silverstone Circuit Length: 1.64 miles
Race distance: 36.08 miles
Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire NN12 8TN
Tel: 08704 588 200