Friday, 22 May 2009

BTCC: Thompson does the double in the wet at Donington

Despite rumours circulating beforehand that the circuit would not be ready in time, Donington Park was able to host rounds 7-9 of the BTCC over the weekend of the 16th/17th May.

James Thompson who has recently joined Team Dynamics had an excellent weekend with wins in the first two races and a sixth place finish in the third.

After winning race one, Thompson became the seventh different winner in as many races this season. A clear indication, as if one was needed, of how close the racing is in the BTCC.

Race one was heavily rain affected. The experienced Thompson was able to move into the lead after a slow start from young Andy Jordan who had inherited pole position from his VX Racing team mate Giovanardi. The Italian clocked the fastest time in Saturday qualifying but was dropped to the back of the grid due to a technical issue with his car.

Thompson managed to maintain the lead through to the end of the race and was followed home by Jordan (2nd), Neal (3rd) and Collard (4th).

There were very creditable performances from Harry Vaulkhard finishing in 5th and Jonathan Adam in 6th.

In race two, the rain abated and Thompson lead away from the start maintaining that position through to the chequered flag. The two Vauxhalls of Championship leader Neal and reigning champion Giovanardi finished second and third respectively.

Jason Plato in the Chevrolet Lacetti came in fourth, followed by Colin Turkington in the BMW and Plato's team mate Matt Jackson in sixth.

Race three started with another downpour but the track later dried. Rob Collard in the Team Airwaves BMW made a lightning start and opened up an early lead which he held through to the end of the race.

Turkington took second place with Plato in third - his first and only podium finish of the weekend. Matt Jackson took fourth spot followed by Giovanardi and Thompson in sixth, putting him in contention for the Championship even at this early stage of the season.

Next rounds - 10 to 12 - Oulton Park 30th/31st May

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