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Thompson’s Podium Blitz
garythompsonracing.com 2009-06-04 1863
 

Thompson’s Podium Blitz

Dubliner Extends Series Lead in Malaysia

Dubliner Gary Thompson produced three second place finishes and a fourth place in Sepang this weekend, emerging from the hectic weekend of racing at the Malaysian Grand Prix venue with an extended championship lead.

Thompson also set fastest lap in three of the four races, reinforcing his status as the driver to beat in the Formula BMW Asia championship this year.

The Donabate racer, who celebrated his 17th birthday yesterday, now has an 11 point lead in the championship with six of the 16 races in the calendar completed. He also enjoys a similar advantage at the head of the Rookie Championship.

Gary looked to have made it a full house of podium finishes after taking the flag in third place in the fourth and final race on Sunday afternoon only to fall foul of an obscure series rule.

An official hung the chequered flag out one lap early and under Formula BMW rules that meant that the result would be decided at the end of the previous completed lap at which time Gary was briefly running fourth.

The rule cost him four points of his series lead but Gary was delighted nonetheless to emerge from a very busy weekend with a large haul of points.

“The championship is the objective and some of the driving can be a little eye-opening, to say the least, so I'm happy to keep scoring points and we have a bit of a lead now," he said. "The wins don't matter so much and I'm not going to risk everything for them. The Championship matters more."

Having dominated testing, topping the timesheets throughout two days of running, Gary was confident going into qualifying but a combination of traffic and a slight error on what looked like being a pole lap restricted him to third on the grid for races one and three of the weekend, missing out on pole by four and eight hundredths of a second. The grid for races two and four was decided on the results of races one and three respectively.

In each of the first three races Gary was embroiled in hectic dicing for position but managed to emerge in second and in race three he led briefly only to be forced back to third by an aggressive manoeuvre a few corners later.

At the end of a weekend when it was announced that he had been selected as the Dunlop Driver of the Month for May, becoming the first driver to be shortlisted for the Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year award, Thompson is delighted to be still on target to achieve his goals in his first season of car racing.

Gary’s next outing is the Formula BMW Europe event at Silverstone in support of the British Grand Prix on 19-21 June. The next event in the Formula BMW Pacific series is at Sentul, Indonesia on 19th July.

This year’s Formula BMW Pacific series takes in events at Formula One Grands Prix in Malaysia, and Singapore as well as events in Japan, Indonesia and the world famous Macau Grand Prix festival.

Thompson will also take part in events counting for the Formula BMW Europe series at the Hungarian, British and Belgian Grands Prix when he will drive for the Raikkonen Robertson team.

-ENDS-

For further information contact Declan Quigley: +353 87 6848586