DRIVER UPDATE : Formula BMW Pacific : Gary Thompson
Gary Thompson’s preparations for next season begin in earnest next week (13-17 December) when the Dubliner travels to Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia where he will test alongside Europe’s leading Formula 3 teams.
Ireland’s brightest single seater prospect, who contested the Japanese F3 Championship throughout 2010, links up with crack German outfit Performance Racing over the five days of running where they will share the track with teams representing British, Euro Series, International F3 Open and Italian championships.
The Cebu Pacific Air-backed 18-year-old is no stranger to Valencia after testing there with Performance Racing last season, before reacquainting himself with the team at Oschersleben in Germany last October.
Thompson says “We tested at Valencia last season so I know the track reasonably well and will hopefully build on that experience. Already knowing the team well from recently testing with them should also be a bonus, especially as the German championship uses similar spec cars, engines and tyres to what I’ve been racing in Japan all year.
“This test is mainly about running through the programme and learning as much as we can. Having said that, we’re still expecting to be the quickest German-spec car at the end of the test.”
Despite his appearance in Europe, Thompson, supported by Aviation Display, remains committed to building on his burgeoning career in the Japanese F3 Championship next season after an encouraging rookie campaign.
“We’re still talking to quite a few teams for 2011. Nothing’s 100% confirmed but Japan is definitely where we will be racing. I’ll be in the National Class where there’s a lot more entries and it’s more competitive because of all the manufacturer works drivers. It seems the best option. I’d definitely like to come back to Europe at some stage but when exactly we’re not sure. We’re testing because it gives us a head start over our rivals in Japan.”
Prepared by www.garythompsonracing.com