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Magnificent Spa Podium for Thompson

  • Bobby races to Belgian podium in ‘best race of my life’.
  • Spa lap record falls as teen ace targets more top finishes.

Hornchurch’s fastest teenager Bobby Thompson scored the first podium finish of his Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup career in record breaking fashion at the world famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium as he set Britain’s best supported one-make saloon car championship alight.

Eighteen year-old Thompson, one of the UK’s youngest ARDS qualified race instructors, effortlessly mastered the imposing, tree-lined 4.3-mile Belgian Grand Prix venue, coming within a whisker of his maiden pole position and underlying his status as one of the hottest properties in British saloon car racing.

“After the last round at Silverstone where everything that could go wrong did go wrong I needed to prove to everyone that the form I showed at the start of the year was no fluke and I definitely feel that the whole team did that this weekend,” said Bobby. “Everyone at Team HARD has worked really hard to get my car sorted for Spa and the car felt fantastic from the moment I hit the track for practice.”

Two hour-long practice sessions gave an indication of what was to come for the rest of the weekend with Bobby consistently among the top five on the timesheets even as the team continued to tinker with the gear settings on his fully race-prepared #19 Team HARD VW Golf GTI R Cup car.

“In practice I was able to draft and slipstream with the frontrunners and the new engine felt right on the pace. The set-up was spot on and even though I was lifting through Eau Rouge the car felt stable everywhere.”

Better was to come in the weekend’s sole qualifying session as Bobby positioned his distinctive Hampson Haulage/Go HAM Clothing/DNA Insurance Services backed machine directly behind his Team HARD teammates Michael Epps and Howard Fuller in order to make use of the slipstream around Spa’s long straights.

“Howard and myself spent most of the session setting fastest times,” says Bobby, who acts as a brand ambassador for Stilo Helmets. “But right at the end Michael Epps got a great tow on the pair of us and took pole but I was still more than happy with fourth on the grid as I knew the car had such strong pace.”

From the second row of the grid Bobby made a solid start to the opening 25-minute race of the weekend, which simply got better and better as the laps wound down.

“The car felt perfect and for the first few laps I had to change my mindset a little as I have been used to chasing the leaders all year and now I was with the leaders.”

For more than 20 breathtaking minutes the lead quartet circulated together, coming within inches of each other at speeds of more than 120mph around some of the world’s most famous corners and Bobby was able to pass championship leader David Sutton for third place going into the Campus Chicane. “On one occasion we went through Eau Rouge three abreast and nobody lifted. You see Eau Rouge on TV but it doesn’t do it justice. The elevation change is unbelievable and when you come out of the corner you are doing well over 100mph.”

Having deposed Sutton, Bobby set to work on his Team HARD teammate Howard Fuller for second place and with his car getting better and better as the race progressed he was able to break Spa’s long-standing VW Cup lap record with a time of 2:45.886-seconds. But with Fuller in a very defensive mood, Bobby settled for third place to complete the first all Team HARD podium in series history.

“I didn’t try anything too aggressive on Howard as he is my teammate but I tried to put him under pressure and remind him that I was there but he is an experienced driver and didn’t make any mistakes.

“I’m really happy with the podium though as it proves to myself and the team that I can contend for wins. I’m even more pleased that I was part for the first all Team HARD podium as the guys have worked really hard all year. But the icing on the cake was breaking the lap record, which was held by the team boss Tony Gilham. The whole result helps repay the faith Tony has shown in me and I’m thrilled to be the first driver of his Young Driver Programme to finish on the podium.”

With six races remaining Bobby is hungry for more podiums and the next two races at his home track of Brands Hatch in Kent offers the perfect opportunity for potential new sponsors to watch him in the flesh.

“I can’t wait to get to Brands Hatch as the team have got some incredible hospitality and we have hired a corporate suite for the weekend to entertain guests at my local track. My goals for the year were to get top five finishes but now I have had a taste of the podium champagne I definitely want some more.”

To find out more about Bobby’s racing activities please visit www.bobbythompson.co.uk or follow his twitter feed @BTMotorsport

Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup

Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup, Britain’s best-supported saloon racing series. The championship is set to enter its 16th season of competition in 2015 with the biggest and most diverse grid of racing Volkswagens yet seen,
Come and catch the action at the British GT meetings around the UK, or on Channel 4 or Motors TV.

Launched in 2000, the Volkswagen Racing Cup is widely regarded as the most exciting saloon car championship in the UK and for 2015 it remains the sole saloon support race in the prestigious British Formula 3/British GT Championship package.

Open to any model of racing Volkswagen, the Cup has attracted drivers of the Beetle RSi, Corrado, Vento & Golf VR6, Golf GTI.

With Volkswagen Racing UK running the series stability is ensured as well as the sort of profile that the championship deserves over future years. The championship features the major benefit of Motors TV television coverage, plus a high quality hospitality service, and other benefits for competitors throughout the season.

The double-header race format of the racing features seven weekends in the UK, which keeps the time and cost commitment of teams and drivers lower than most other series, and provides spectators with a very full day of Volkswagen action.

Press Quotes

Autosport, Marcus Pye: ‘Volkswagen Racing’s championship has blossomed into the best-looking and most competitive multi-model marque series on the current national calendar.’

Car Magazine, Jason Barlow: ‘The Volkswagen Racing Cup is a ferociously competitive championship… everyone should take to the track at least once in their life. They might just get hooked.’

The Stats

• TV – live race coverage from every round on Motors TV
• 229 broadcast hours (2013)
• TV audience of 19.5m (2012) (UK)
• Trackside attendance – 371,000 trackside spectators (2012)
• Regular news reports in UK motorsport media (Autosport, MSN)
• Bespoke championship website run by VW Racing UK
• Significant media promotion (print and online) of championship by VW

MSA British Cadet Championship and the FKS Championship for Mini Max and Junior Max.

Is this the past, present and future of motor racing all rolled into one?

  • Teen racing star Bobby gets dream photo opportunity
  • Senna, Hamilton, Thompson?

It is said that a photograph says a thousand words but can a single image encapsulate the entire history of a sport? Aspiring sixteen year-old racing driver Bobby Thompson certainly hopes so.

Hornchurch based Bobby is certainly no Essex boy racer. In fact he is one of Britain’s most highly regarded driving talents with a room full of trophies to prove it and a list of accomplishments that would make many seasoned professionals blush.

And now, thanks to the Bernie Ecclestone and Lewis Hamilton supported Formula Kart Stars Championship, Bobby has a photo that may just show the past, present and future of motorsport in one single frame.

One of Britain’s leading kart racers since the age of eight, Bobby has now reached the end of his junior karting career and in 2012 juggled his most important school year off the track with his most successful season on it.

Three national race victories in the ultra competitive 75mph Junior Rotax class in the same kart series that helped launch the careers of current F1 Superstars Lewis Hamilton and Paul Di Resta helped Bobby finish third in the final standings, although a 100 point penalty for contact with a rival at Larkhall in Scotland cost him the overall championship.

Victory in the Trent Valley Kart Club Winter Series helped push Bobby’s win total for the year towards double figures but it was Bobby’s decision to begin racing in the Junior Ford Fiesta saloon car championship for 16-17 year olds that was the key to the famous photo opportunity.

At the behest of the FKS Championship organisers Bobby, who supports the Caudwell Children’s Charity through his racing activities, was asked to bring his self-prepared Fiesta to the final round of the championship at Whilton Mill in Daventry where they were putting on a display of famous cars for the young drivers to enjoy.

Nestled between Lewis Hamilton’s 2009 McLaren-Mercedes and the late Ayrton Senna’s 1986 1400bhp Lotus-Renault, Bobby’s Fiesta may look somewhat out of place but, in his final race in the series, the FKS organisers insisted on placing his car centre stage as a mark of respect to his achievements in kart racing and the efforts that go with it.

“It was a huge honour to be asked to bring my car to the display,” said Bobby, who has just been accepted onto the prestigious MSA Academy for Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence. “Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna are my heroes and they represent the past and present in motor racing. I hope to be the future.”

Not only has Bobby excelled in karting, he also has several top five finishes in the Junior Ford Fiesta Championship despite being a car racing novice. In 2012 Bobby has also earned a place on the Formula BMW Talent Cup scholarship shootout at Brands Hatch, a race drive in the burgeoning Smart 4-Two Cup, also at Brands as well as test drives in a Ginetta G40 sportscar with the Silverstone Race Academy and leading sportscar team Hillspeed Racing.

MSA British Cadet Championship and the FKS Championship for Mini Max and Junior Max.

‘Most Important Win Ever’ For Kart Ace Thompson

  • Northern Irish triumph keeps Bobby in title contention
  • Points penalty fails to de-rail Junior Max star

Hornchurch’s fastest teenager, kart racer Bobby Thompson has vowed to ‘hold nothing back’ in his quest to clinch the Formula Kart Stars Junior Rotax Championship following another imperious performance at the Nutts Corner circuit in Northern Ireland. Read more »

Bobby Thompson

Scottish victory keeps kart racer Bobby in title contention

  • Victory in Scotland and podiums in Wales
  • Karting successes lead to car racing opportunities

The weather may be dreary but sun continues to shine on Hornchurch based kart racer Bobby Thompson as he enjoys the most successful season of his career in the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone supported Formula Kart Stars Junior Rotax Championship. Read more »

Hornchurch kart racer Bobby the man to beat at Ellough

• Teen ace Thompson races to maiden win in Formula One backed Championship
• Popular victory moves ‘Bobster’ to second in standings.

Hornchurch’s fastest teenager Bobby Thompson scored an emotional first victory in the Formula One Management backed Formula Kart Stars Championship at Ellough Park in Suffolk in his 70mph Junior Rotax kart. Read more »

Sensational car racing debut for Hornchurch ace Thompson

Hornchurch’s fastest teenager Bobby Thompson marked himself out as a potential touring car star of the future with a stunning car racing debut in the Dunlop Ford Fiesta Junior Championship at a soggy Snetterton circuit in Norfolk recently despite having never sat in his car before the start of official practice. Read more »

Bobby Vital Thompson

Fighting Formula Kart Stars podium for Hornchurch ace Thompson

  • Heat win helps push ‘Bobster’ into title contention
  • Time penalty leaves driver ‘gutted’ but can’t prevent podium performance

Hornchurch’s fastest teenager Bobby Thompson showed just why he is among the favourites in this year’s Formula Kart Stars Junior Rotax Championship with a podium performance on the opening weekend of the Bernie Ecclestone/Lewis Hamilton backed championship. Read more »

Winter Series title joy for Thompson

  • ‘Bobster’ beats the best at Trent Valley
  • Foul weather can’t spoil Thompson’s title joy

Hornchurch’s fastest teenager Bobby Thompson has won the first major Junior Rotax karting title of the 2012 season as he raced to victory in the Trent Valley Kart Club Winter Series at the Paul Fletcher International circuit in Lincolnshire. Read more »

Bobby Thompson

Flying start to 2012 for Hornchurch karting ace Thompson

  • Close second sets up Winter Series title tilt.
  • Teenager earns dream Powerboat test run

Hornchurch’s fastest teenager Bobby Thompson has enjoyed a flying start to his 2012 karting season on and off the track as he begins his bid for glory in the Formula One Management backed Formula Kart Stars series, the same championship that set Lewis Hamilton on the path to Formula One glory. Read more »

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