2010 World Touring Car Championship
The 2010 World Touring Car Championship season was the seventh season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, the sixth since its 2005 return. It began with the Race of Brazil at Curitiba on 7 March and ended with the Guia Race of Macau at the Guia Circuit on 21 November, after twenty-two races at eleven events; the championship was open to Diesel 2000 cars. A new points system was introduced for the championship in 2010, in alignment with that used for both the Formula One World Championship and the World Rally Championship; the winner of each race received 25 points, continuing with 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 point for 10th place. In the week leading up to the final event in Macau, 2008 champion Yvan Muller was confirmed as Drivers' Champion after the BMWs of Augusto Farfus and title rival Andy Priaulx were excluded from the results of the event in Japan, after the FIA overturned a stewards' decision allowing the BMWs to run sequential gearboxes. Chevrolet was awarded the Manufacturers' Championship title.
The full season entry list was released on 19 February 2010. Chevrolet replaced the retiring Nicola Larini in their three-car line-up with ex-SEAT Sport driver Yvan Muller. A fourth Chevrolet Cruze was entered in Italy for Leonel Pernía, with Nika Racing running the car under the Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden banner. Vincent Radermecker drove the car for the RML-run squad at the next race in Belgium, with Cacá Bueno driving it in the UK. BMW Motorsport announced they were reducing their participation from a five-car team to a two-car team, with Augusto Farfus moving from BMW Team Germany to Team RBM to join Andy Priaulx. Former BMW Team Italy-Spain driver Alex Zanardi retired from the series, while former BMW Team Germany driver Jörg Müller raced in the Le Mans Series with Schnitzer. SEAT Sport withdrew from the series for 2010, but helped Sunred to form a new team SR-Sport, for whom Independents champion Tom Coronel and ex-SEAT Sport drivers Jordi Gené, Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini drove for.
Stefano D'Aste returned to Scuderia Proteam Motorsport, for whom he raced in 2005, 2006 and 2008, moving from Wiechers-Sport. His seat was taken by Mehdi Bennani. D'Aste was joined at Proteam by Sergio Hernández. Fabio Fabiani raced an additional car for the team at his home event in Italy, just as he did in 2009. Andrey Romanov rejoined the Liqui Moly Team Engstler setup, he replaced Kristian Poulsen. Romanov could not drive at Brands Hatch for personal reasons. Michel Nykjær joined SUNRED Engineering after racing in the WTCC for Perfection Racing at the 2009 Race of Germany, he replaced Tom Boardman. Boardman returned to the WTCC with SUNRED for his home event. Fredy Barth joined the team from the SEAT León Eurocup, racing under the SEAT Swiss Team by SUNRED banner. Zengő Dension Motorsport joined the series, along with their driver, León Eurocup champion Norbert Michelisz, who drove the SUNRED prize car on two occasions – in 2008 and 2009. British Touring Car team Bamboo Engineering joined the WTCC, along with their driver Harry Vaulkhard.
Darryl O'Young, who drove in the FIA GT Championship with Prospeed Competition in 2009, was his teammate for most of this season, before Vaulkhard was forced to withdraw owing to a lack of sponsorship, was replaced by Yukinori Taniguchi. James Thompson, who drove for Lada Sport in 2009, was set to race at certain European rounds for Hartmann Racing, in addition to campaigns in the Danish Touring Car Championship and European Touring Car Cup, but left the team, whilst Lada did not return for 2010. SEAT's Rickard Rydell elected to take a sabbatical from racing for the 2010 season. Instead, he became a TV pundit for Viasat Motor's coverage of the Swedish Touring Car Championship. Jaap van Lagen returned to the Porsche Supercup, a series in which he finished seventh in 2008. Without drives for 2010 were Lada's Kirill Ladygin, Félix Porteiro, who drove for Proteam in 2009. Maurer Motorsport were set to run three Chevrolet Lacettis at Marrakech for Moroccan racers Ismaïl Sbaï, Youssaf El Marnissi and Larbi Tadlaoui.
Tadlaoui did not attend due to personal reasons, while El Marnissi crashed in the Friday test session. Pierre-Yves Corthals made a one-off return to the series with his old team, Exagon Engineering, for his home event in Belgium. Having been without a drive in any series, 2009 British Touring Car Champion Colin Turkington rejoined the series in Portugal with West Surrey Racing, with backing from eBay Motors. Swedish championship team Polestar Racing and driver Robert Dahlgren raced once again at Brands Hatch, raced in Japan, in a nationally-homologated Volvo C30. A provisional calendar for the 2010 season was approved by the FIA World Council on 24 June 2009; the final calendar was published on 21 October 2009. The Race of Mexico at Autódromo Miguel E. Abed, scheduled for 11 April, was cancelled in March due to security fears in the region. Series organisers looked for a replacement, but negotiations with interested event promoters did not meet with the championship’s logistic and promotional requirements, meaning the season was reduced to eleven events.
The Race of Belgium, which replaced the Race of France, was on the calendar for the first time since 2005. This time it was held at Zolder rather than Spa-Francorchamps; the Race of Portugal was moved to the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. The venue for the Race of Italy was changed from the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari near Imola back to the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, which hosted the race from 2005 until 2008. † — Drivers did not finish the race, but were classified as they completed over 90% of t
West Surrey Racing
West Surrey Racing is a UK-based motorsport team run by New Zealander Dick Bennetts. He is responsible for masterminding the careers of such names as Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, Jonathan Palmer, Rubens Barrichello, Maurício Gugelmin and Eddie Irvine with his involvement in F3 and a racing academy in the 80s and 90s. Founded in 1981, WSR has won more than 70 races in Formula 3 and more than 100 class and outright wins in the BTCC. WSR moved to the BTCC in 1996 having been chosen to run the works Ford team, with Andy Rouse having left running the team to attempt to establish his own Nissan team. WSR worked in cooperation with Reynard Motorsport, who built the chassis while WSR ran the race team itself; the 1996 season was one of limited success, with Ford stalwart Paul Radisich partnered by Steve Robertson. The Mondeo had never lived up to its hype since its inception in 1993, Radisich ended the season 13th with 27 points, Robertson 20th, with a paltry 2 points finishing lower than Independents Gary Ayles, Owen McAuley, Lee Brookes and Richard Kaye.
The peak of this disappointment was achieved at Round 1, when Radisich, running well down the order, crashed into teammate Robertson at turn 1, after Robertson had spun the car. WSR Ford finished seventh in the Team's Championship, just ahead of the factory Peugeots of Tim Harvey and Patrick Watts. For 1997, Radisich was partnered by departing Renault no. 2 Will Hoy, the 1991 British Touring Car Champion. An improved facelifted Mondeo was far from competitive. However, as the year continued and Radisich were fighting for points, Radisich ended with 41 points to finish 13th, Hoy 15th with 27 points in a mildly competitive season; the team finished seventh with 113 points. Still working with Reynard, the 1998 season was much more promising. Paul Radisich left the team at the end of 1997; the man who filled the vacant seat was fellow New Zealander Craig Baird, but after poor performances, Baird was replaced by Nigel Mansell, who at round 12 at a rain soaked Donington, provided one of the best races the Championship had witnessed.
Having crashed off in race 1, languishing at the back in race 2, Mansell gained his focus and charged through the field, thanks to a safety car, was leading. Mansell finished fourth having allowed Derek Warwick through at the final corner, but was subsequently demoted to fifth, having passed under waved yellows. For Will Hoy, 1998 was a much improved year. In the still unfancied Mondeo, Hoy managed to finish in the top 10 of the Championship with 69 points, which included a brilliant race win at round 4, to be his last before his semi-retirement at the end of the season, shock death in 2002; this was WSR's first win in Touring Cars. Mansell and Baird finished 18th and 20th with WSR rounding off their 3-year stint running the Ford team with their best season. 1999 and 2000 saw WSR running works Honda Accords, taking over from Prodrive, who in turn ran the Ford Team that West Surrey Racing had just run. The 1999 season saw no changes to the driver line up, with James Thompson and Peter Kox keeping their drives.
Thompson made an excellent start to the season, winning the opening race of the season from pole position. This was Kox's second full season in the championship, having made his debut in select races for BMW in 1996, struggling the previous year. Nonetheless, both drivers had successes during the year. Thompson ended fourth in the Driver's Championship with 174 Points and three victories, Kox finished seventh with 113 Points and one victory. West Surrey Racing finished second in the Manufacturers' Championship with 296 points: Pipping Volvo by one point, but a long way off Nissan which cruised away with 464 points. In the Year 2000, the last to be run under the Supertouring regulations, many of the previous year's teams dropped out leaving Ford and Vauxhall as the sole works entries. In order to beef up the grid, each team ran three cars. WSR partnered with JAS Motorsport to run the factory Honda team. James Thompson stayed on for his fourth year driving for Honda, whilst Peter Kox was replaced with contracted JAS drivers Tom Kristensen and Gabriele Tarquini, the 1994 Champion who partnered Thompson at Honda in 1997, made four guest appearances in 1999.
The season was a bit of a lost cause for WSR, with Ford romping away with superstarts Alain Menu, Rickard Rydell and Anthony Reid, with Vauxhall the only challenger. Tarquini was the strongest Honda driver, claiming victories at round 8 at Knockhill and round 18 at Donington Park and finishing more consistently. Thompson was replaced for rounds 3–4 and 5–6 by Peter Kox and David Leslie after a shunt at the second race kept him out of action for a few weeks, but this did not stop him from winning round 11 at Silverstone. Kristensen claimed three victories over the course of the season – the feature race at Oulton Park and the final two races of the Supertouring era under the floodlights at Silverstone. Tarquini finished sixth in the championship on 149 points, Kristensen seventh on 143 points with Thompson equal eighth on 129 points. West Surrey Racing ended the Supertouring era second in the Manufacturers' Championship, ahead of Vauxhall with 411 points. After a brief hiatus WSR returned to the BTCC late in the 2001 season running the works MG team.
2000 runner-up Anthony Reid and Warren Hughes were sig
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker that has its main headquarter in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903; the company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer Troller, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom and a 32% stake in Jiangling Motors, it has joint-ventures in China, Thailand and Russia. The company is controlled by the Ford family. Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada and the Middle East since 1938.
Ford is the second-largest U. S.-based automaker and the fifth-largest in the world based on 2015 vehicle production. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe; the company went public in 1956 but the Ford family, through special Class B shares, still retain 40 percent voting rights. During the financial crisis at the beginning of the 21st century, it was close to bankruptcy, but it has since returned to profitability. Ford was the eleventh-ranked overall American-based company in the 2018 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2017 of $156.7 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide. Henry Ford's first attempt at a car company under his own name was the Henry Ford Company on November 3, 1901, which became the Cadillac Motor Company on August 22, 1902, after Ford left with the rights to his name; the Ford Motor Company was launched in a converted factory in 1903 with $28,000 in cash from twelve investors, most notably John and Horace Dodge.
The first president was not Ford, but local banker John S. Gray, chosen to assuage investors' fears that Ford would leave the new company the way he had left its predecessor. During its early years, the company produced just a few cars a day at its factory on Mack Avenue and its factory on Piquette Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Groups of two or three men worked on each car, assembling it from parts made by supplier companies contracting for Ford. Within a decade, the company would lead the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, Ford soon brought much of the part production in-house in a vertical integration that seemed a better path for the era. Henry Ford was 39 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go on to become one of the world's largest and most profitable companies, it has been in continuous family control for over 100 years and is one of the largest family-controlled companies in the world. The first gasoline powered automobile had been created in 1885 by the German inventor Carl Benz.
More efficient production methods were needed to make automobiles affordable for the middle class, to which Ford contributed by, for instance, introducing the first moving assembly line in 1913 at the Ford factory in Highland Park. Between 1903 and 1908, Ford produced the Models A, B, C, F, K, N, R, S. Hundreds or a few thousand of most of these were sold per year. In 1908, Ford introduced the mass-produced Model T, which totalled millions sold over nearly 20 years. In 1927, Ford replaced the T with the first car with safety glass in the windshield. Ford launched the first low-priced car with a V8 engine in 1932. In an attempt to compete with General Motors' mid-priced Pontiac and Buick, Ford created the Mercury in 1939 as a higher-priced companion car to Ford. Henry Ford purchased the Lincoln Motor Company in 1922, in order to compete with such brands as Cadillac and Packard for the luxury segment of the automobile market. In 1929, Ford was contracted by the government of the Soviet Union to set up the Gorky Automobile Plant in Russia producing Ford Model A and AAs thereby playing an important role in the industrialisation of that country.
The creation of a scientific laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan in 1951, doing unfettered basic research, led to Ford's unlikely involvement in superconductivity research. In 1964, Ford Research Labs made a key breakthrough with the invention of a superconducting quantum interference device or SQUID. Ford offered the Lifeguard safety package from 1956, which included such innovations as a standard deep-dish steering wheel, optional front, for the first time in a car, rear seatbelts, an optional padded dash. Ford introduced child-proof door locks into its products in 1957, and, in the same year, offered the first retractable hardtop on a mass-produced six-seater car. In late 1955, Ford established the Continental division as a separate luxury car division; this division was responsible for the manufacture and sale of the famous Continental Mark II. At the same time, the Edsel division was created to design and market that car starting with the 1958 model year. Due to limited sales of the Continental and the Edsel disaster, Ford merged Lincoln and Edsel into "M
Triple Eight Racing
Triple Eight Racing was a motorsports team formed in 1996 as Triple Eight Race Engineering, competing in the British Touring Car Championship and the British GT Championship. Closing down in November 2018 The team's original focus was to design and race Vauxhalls on behalf of the General Motors brand in the British Touring Car Championship. A close working alliance developed during a decade of success and Triple Eight became Vauxhall's technical partner for motorsport. In 2009, Vauxhall Motors ended its support for the BTCC, however the team continued to compete using Vauxhalls until the end of the 2011 season. From the 2012 season, Triple Eight began to build and race MG6 GT cars on behalf of MG, in a revival of the marque in the BTCC; the following year, the team entered the British GT Championship. Prior to the start of the 2015 season, the team rebranded itself as Triple Eight Racing across all its motorsport programs, introducing a new team name and logo. Micky Sergeant is the team manager.
Triple Eight made its BTCC debut in 1997 by running the works Vauxhall team left by RML and providing Vectras for 2 time Vauxhall champion John Cleland and team owner Derek Warwick. The season was not successful with the Vectra uncompetitive because of aerodynamics, holomogated for the Vectra model across all Supertouring championships in 1996 and was set up for the faster French and Italian tracks. John Cleland and Derek Warwick finished 12th and 14th in the championship with their best race results being a 5th. Triple Eight finished 8th in manufacturers' championships. 1998 would be a much more competitive season, Triple Eight changed the aerodynamic package and the Vauxhall Vectra became a much more competitive car, after the FIA Touring Car Bureau agreed that Vauxhall could homologate a differing aerodynamic package to Opel's. Triple Eight's first BTCC win came at round 5 at Donington Park after John Cleland achieved a great start and never lost the lead; this would be John Cleland's first victory since his championship year in 1995, Vauxhall's first since James Thompson at Snetterton 1996.
John Cleland would win again at Donington Park at round 12 in one of the best BTCC races witnessed. Derek Warwick would take his first BTCC victory at Knockhill. While the season was successful, it was not smooth. John Cleland suffered a crash at Snetterton with reigning champion Alain Menu causing cracked ribs and heavy bruising causing him to miss the next round at Thruxton, his place was taken by Brazilian driver Flavio Figueiredo. John Cleland and Derek Warwick finished 9th in the championship. Triple Eight finished 5th in manufacturers' award. 1999 saw Derek Warwick retire from full-time racing. His place was taken by Frenchmen Yvan Muller moving from Audi; the Vectra went through some changes as well for the season. Ludo Lacroix joined the team in 1999; the season only saw one win from Vauxhall by Yvan Muller at Brands Hatch round 7. Yvan Muller finished an eventual 6th in the championship, however John Cleland had a much harder season finishing 13th and announcing his retirement after 11 successful seasons with Vauxhall including 2 championships in 1989 and 1995.
2000 saw the final year of the Supertouring era and many of the manufacturers depart the BTCC leaving Ford and Vauxhall. Every team increased to three cars. Triple Eight had Yvan Muller, Jason Plato and Vincent Radermecker Ford were the dominant manufacturer throughout the season with all three Fords finishing 1–2–3 in the drivers' championship with Yvan Muller and Jason Plato finishing 4th and 5th with Vincent Radermecker finishing 10th. Triple Eight finished 3rd in the teams and manufacturers award. Triple Eight competed twice in the Bathurst 1000 in Australia. In 1997, two Vectras were entered for John Cleland/James Thompson and Derek Warwick/Peter Brock, while in 1998, Cleland and Warwick shared a car with Russell Ingall and Greg Murphy driving the second car. 2001 saw the arrival of the new touring car regulation. This system was designed to make the cars much less expensive to run. Vauxhall replaced the Vectra with the Astra Coupe for 2001 and would so until 2004. Yvan Muller and Jason Plato were the class of the field.
The title came down between Jason Plato in the final race. After an early spin by Plato, Yvan Muller looked comfortable to take the title, until two excursions at Clearways caused an oil leak and fire for Yvan Muller leaving Plato champion. Triple Eight finished 1st in the manufacturers award. 2002 saw the departure of Jason Plato from the BTCC to race in the British ASCAR stock car championship. Yvan Muller was more determined to take the title. Plato's seat at Vauxhall was filled by James Thompson moving up from egg:sport; the season saw the Astra Coupe again the car to beat against rivals MG, Honda and Proton, however the Astra suffered reliability issues throughout the season. Despite this, Yvan Muller and James Thompson and for much of the season Matt Neal fought for the championship. In the end James Thompson won the championship from Matt Neal. Triple Eight again finished 1st in the manufacturers award. 2003 saw Vauxhall increase to three cars with James Thompson, Yvan Muller and Paul O'Neill moving up from egg:sport.
Vauxhall changed the team
Kart racing or karting is a variant of motorsport road racing with open-wheel, four-wheeled vehicles called known as go-karts or shifter karts. They are raced on scaled-down circuits, although some professional kart racing are raced in full-size motorsport circuits. Karting is perceived as the stepping stone to the higher ranks of motorsports, with former Formula One champions such as Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher having begun their careers in karting. Karts vary in speed and some can reach speeds exceeding 260 kilometres per hour, while recreational go-karts intended for the general public may be limited to lower speeds. American Art Ingels is accepted to be the father of karting. A veteran hot rodder and a race car builder at Kurtis Kraft, he built the first kart in Southern California in 1956. Popular, Karting spread to other countries, has a large following in Europe; the first kart manufacturer was an American company, Go Kart Manufacturing Co..
In 1959, McCulloch was the first company to produce engines for karts. Its first engine, the McCulloch MC-10, was an adapted chainsaw two-stroke engine. In the 1960s, motorcycle engines were adapted for kart use, before dedicated manufacturers in Italy, started to build engines for the sport; the chassis are made of chrome moly tubing. There is no suspension, therefore chassis have to be flexible enough to work as a suspension and stiff enough not to break or give way on a turn. Kart chassis are classified in the United States as'Open','Caged','Straight' or'Offset'. All Commission Internationale de Karting - Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile or CIK-FIA approved chassis are'Straight' and'Open'. Open karts have no roll cage. Caged karts have a roll cage surrounding the driver. In Straight chassis the driver sits in the center. Straight chassis are used for sprint racing. In Offset chassis the driver sits on the left side. Offset chassis are used for left-turn-only speedway racing; the stiffness of the chassis enables different handling characteristics for different circumstances.
For dry conditions a stiffer chassis is preferable, while in wet or other poor traction conditions, a more flexible chassis may work better. Temperature of the track can affect handling and may prompt additional chassis adjustments; the best chassis allow for stiffening bars at the rear and side to be added or removed according to race conditions. Braking is achieved by a disc brake mounted on the rear axle. Front disc brakes are used in most shifter kart classes and are popular in other classes. Shifter karts have dual master cylinders, one for the front and one for the rear and are adjustable to allow for front/rear bias changes. Professionally raced karts weigh 165 to 175 lb, complete without driver. Avanti, Tony Kart, Birel, CRG, Intrepid, Zanardi or FA Kart and EKS are a few well known examples of the many European manufacturers of race-quality chassis. Emmick, Bandit, Shadow, MGM, Titan, PRC and Margay are American companies producing kart chassis. Amusement park go-karts can be powered by four-stroke engines or electric motors, while racing karts use small two-stroke or four-stroke engines.
Four-stroke engines can be standard air-cooled industrial based engines, sometimes with small modifications, developing from about 5 to 20 hp. Briggs & Stratton, Kohler and Honda are manufacturers of such engines, they are adequate for racing and fun kart applications. There are more powerful four-stroke engines available from manufacturers like Yamaha, TKM, Swissauto or Aixro offering from 15 hp up to 48 hp, they run to and around 11,000 rpm, are manufactured for karting. Those are used in some National Championship classes like the two-strokes. Two-stroke kart engines are built by dedicated manufacturers. WTP, Comer, IAME, TM, Titan, REFO, Modena Engines, TKM, PRD, Yamaha and Rotax are manufacturers of such engines; these can develop from about 8 hp for a single-cylinder 60 cc unit to over 90 hp for a twin 250 cc.< Today, the most popular categories worldwide are those using the TaG 125 cc units. The recent 125 cc KF1 engines are electronically limited at 16,000 rpm. Most are water-cooled today.
Karts do not have a differential. The lack of a differential means; this allows the tire to lift off the ground completely. Power is transmitted from the engine to the rear axle by a chain. Both engine and axle sprockets are removable. In the early days, karts were direct drive only, but the inconvenience of that setup soon led to the centrifugal clutch for the club level classes. Dry centrifugal clutches are now used in many categories and have become the norm as the top international classes have switched to 125 cc clutched engines as of January 2007. Wheels and tires are much smaller than those used on a normal car. Rims are made of aluminum, or composite materials. Tires can support cornering forces in excess of 2 g, depending on chassis and motor setup; some car tire manufacturers, such as Bridgestone and Maxxis make tires for karts. T
James Thompson (racing driver)
James Thompson is a British auto racing driver. He competes in the World Touring Car Championship, he has twice been champion of the British Touring Car Championship, was third in the 2007 World Touring Car Championship. Thompson started racing in the BTCC in a entered Peugeot 405 in 1994, his performances earning him a factory Vauxhall drive for 1995, he became the youngest race-winner that year taking two pole positions, before his season was cut short by a crash at Knockhill giving him an eye injury. 1996 was a transitional year with the new Vauxhall Vectra, although Thompson took a victory at Snetterton, moving up from fifth in a two-lap burst in which Roberto Ravaglia and Rickard Rydell collided, Joachim Winkelhock spun, Alain Menu broke down. In 1997, Thompson joined Honda, finishing fifth in the championship in 1997, third in 1998, fourth in 1999, he missed two rounds through a concussion sustained in a 12G backwards accident at Brands Hatch in 2000, but returned to racing at Knockhill, was able to finish ninth, having been pre-season favourite for the title.
When Honda pulled out for 2001, Thompson joined Team Egg Sport, racing their Vauxhall to four wins and third overall – enough to earn him a return to the factory Vauxhall team for 2002, which featured a titanic three-year battle with team-mate Yvan Muller in their dominant Astra. Thompson was BTCC champion in both 2002 and 2004, was second in 2003 behind Muller. For 2006, Thompson joined Jason Plato at SEAT Sport UK, he did this at the same time as competing in the WTCC, meaning he had to skip some BTCC rounds when they clashed with World touring car eC in the second SEAT Sport UK car, but at Silverstone for the final round he used his Red Bull-backed WTCC car. After competing in the first nine races, he was ahead of BTCC team leader Plato. Despite having to yield the victory to Plato at Croft, he finished sixth overall, scoring more points per entry than any other SEAT driver. For 2009, rumours had placed Thompson with a possible return to the BTCC after discussions with Team Dynamics to race one of their Honda Civics.
He tested a Tempus Sport Chevrolet Lacetti and a Motorbase Performance BMW 320si. However, his name was missing from the pre-season entry list, it was announced he would spend another year in the Danish series, it was announced in April, prior to the Thruxton round that he would return to the BTCC, replacing Gordon Shedden. He collected a double win at Donington Park, added a third win at Oulton Park. After the round at Knockhill, Thompson was replaced by ex-Formula One driver Johnny Herbert due to clashes with his commitments in the WTCC and V8 Supercars. Thompson was chosen as the development driver for the new Next Generation Touring Car regulations, participated in first practice for the 2010 season finale at Brands Hatch in a prototype car based on a Toyota Avensis, he returned to racing for the 2011 season finale with Airwaves Racing to support Mat Jackson's title bid. The weekend did not go well with two retirements in the first two races, but a single point for fastest lap in the last race was to be the best result of the weekend.
For 2005, Thompson attempted a new challenge with Alfa Romeo. His first WTCC season was not a huge success overall, he finished the season eighth in the standings. Alfa Romeo pulled out of the WTCC at the end of the season. For 2006 he moved to SEAT Sport, the team which he would drive for in that year's BTCC. Within the first six races, Thompson finished on the podium three times but in the second half of the season he finished in the points on only three occasions. In a team that featured a top driver lineup including Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, he finished eighth in the Drivers Championship. In 2007, Thompson rejoined Alfa Romeo in the WTCC run by N. Technology. Although his aged Alfa Romeo 156 was not as well developed as his works-backed rivals, he fought for the championship title until the final race and ended the season in third place. In 2008 he competed for N. Technology in a Honda Accord Euro R in the WTCC, he drove an Accord in the Danish Touring Car Championship. After missing the first two WTCC meetings, the team struggled to develop the car competitively.
However, the team worked on the car over the season and scored their first win of the season at Imola. However, N. Technology announced its withdrawal at the end of the year, he returned to the WTCC with Lada Sport in July 2009, driving their new Priora model. He participated in five events with Lada Sport, achieving a best result of sixth place in both races at Imola. Thompson was unable to participate in the final event at Macau following a heavy collision in qualifying with the stationary car of Stefano D'Aste. Thompson returned to the WTCC in 2012 with Lada Sport driving a Lada Granta WTCC at both the Race of Hungary and the Race of Portugal, he will return to the WTCC in 2013, driving a Lada Granta WTCC full-time with Lada Sport Lukoil alongside new team mate Aleksei Dudukalo. During qualifying for the Race of Italy he was hit by Dudukalo who had missed the braking point for the first chicane. Thompson was through to Q2 and he returned to the pits for repairs before taking part in the second session.
He set the ninth fastest time which would give him a front row start when the grid was reversed for race two. Lada withdrew both of their cars prior to the races as neither could be repaired in time to participate, he won the 2009 European Touring Car Cup at the Circuito Vasco Sameiro near Braga in Portugal, driving a Honda Accord for Hartmann Hon
Knockhill Racing Circuit
Knockhill Racing Circuit is a motor racing circuit in Fife, Scotland. It is Scotland's national motorsport centre; the circuit is located in the countryside about 6 miles north of Dunfermline. The circuit opened in September 1974, it was created by joining service roads to a nearby disused mineral railway, closed in 1951, which served Lethans Colliery. The first car race was held on 18 May 1975. Between 1974 and 1983 the circuit had several different owners which helped to develop the circuit's facilities and attractions. Since the 1980s, Knockhill has been developed to a point where it is able to host rounds of most of the major British car and motorbike championships; the circuit hosted a round of the British Touring Car Championships for twelve years until the deal ended in 2002 with the promoters seeking infrastructure upgrades. Knockhill made improvements and the touring car series returned to Knockhill in 2004 with ITV televising the event live; the British Formula Three Championship and British GT Championship returned to Knockhill in May 2005.
In 2008, Knockhill named a corner Leslie's Bend in the honour of race car driver David Leslie shortly after his death in a small jet aircraft-accident at Farnborough. In 2012, the circuit restarted track days in the counter-clockwise direction, it gained a licence for motorbikes and cars to compete in both directions, the first racing circuit to achieve this in the UK in modern times. The circuit has two layouts, the 1.3 miles International layout with 9 corners and the 1 mile National layout with 10 corners. On both layouts the circuit has a total elevation change of 37 metres. A lap of Knockhill, beginning at the start line, first involves passing over the crest which marks the highest point of the circuit; the circuit levels out and passes under the pedestrian bridge before a short braking zone preceding the first of the nine corners, Duffus Dip, a fast, blind apexed downhill right hand corner regarded as one of the most challenging corners in the United Kingdom. At the foot of this decline is a quick left hand corner named Leslie's followed swiftly by a tricky braking zone, due to vehicles still being unsettled from the levelling out of the track through Leslie's, for the next corner, a ninety degree right hand bend named McIntyre's, but named Scotsman due to sponsorship.
After the exit of McIntyre's there is a short straight leading to the next corner, a shallow right hand corner named Butcher's. After this the track dips downward before rising steeply upwards towards another challenging corner; the Chicane named the Arnold Clark Chicane and the John R Weir Chicane, both because of sponsorship deals, is such a challenge because the second, right hand part of the corner is blind and drivers do not see the apex of the second part until after they have turned in and it is this combined with the presence of a sausage kerb on the inside of the track to deter corner cutting that results in vehicles going through the chicane on two wheels. After a run down the short back straight comes the next corner,Clark's, a blind uphill right hander the scene of vehicles getting onto two wheels and/or running wide into the gravel located on the outside of the corner. Following this is a corner now named Hislop's but named Railway, in reference to the fact that it is this section of the track that runs along the location of the old railway line.
This corner is a left handed kink taken at high speeds. Comes the second longest straight of the circuit named Railway, where vehicles slipstream one another in preparation for the heaviest braking zone belonging to the ninth and final corner. Taylor's is a hairpin corner, one of the tightest found anywhere in the UK, it has an uphill apex, is arguably the best overtaking point of the circuit and was known as the Real Radio Hairpin for sponsorship reasons. Upon exit from Taylor's vehicles accelerate hard on the part uphill pit straight towards the finish line; the circuit hosts different events throughout the year, with the main points being the annual rounds of the British Touring Car Championship and British Superbike Championship. There are lesser events such as the monthly meetings of the Scottish Motor Racing Club, Knockhill Motor Sports Club and Super Lap Scotland and regular trackdays for cars and bikes; some events are exclusive to the circuit, such as legend racing and the Scottish Formula Ford Championship races.
Highlights of these events are televised as part of a show on Motors TV. The circuit has on-site parking for 3,000 cars located in the areas south of Taylor's hairpin, Hislop's, Clark's and the Chicane. Knockhill offers a range of motorsport facilities. In addition to the main circuit it has a concrete rally stage to the south of the hairpin, a 500-metre long karting circuit located east of the main paddock area, a skid pan to the east of the karting circuit and an offroad course located to the north of the main circuit. There is another offroading course in the main circuit's infield, no longer used; the main circuit offers track-driving experiences using a choice of Ferrari F430, Aston Martin Vantage, Legend race car, Honda Civic Type Rs and Audi-powered, Van Diemen single-seater formula cars. The rally stage can be used for a rally driving experience in modified Ford Fiestas, the skid pan for a skid-control dr