Irish driver Gary Thompson ended the Japanese Formula Three season in the top five in the series' competitive National Class, sealing the achievement with a fourth place in the final race of the season at Autopolis.
The weekend was one of constant recovery from the Dubliner who suffered a double whammy of misfortune in the two qualifying sessions that set the grid of the races. A mistake in the first session lost him a fast lap and an off in the closing stages resulted in damage to the car that left him stuck in the pits and forced him down to eighth on the grid.
With the second session following just ten minutes later the KCMG Racing team were still fixing the car after the earlier off when Thompson's rivals took to the track. Quick work by the team allowed the Cebu Pacific Air sponsored driver just a single flying lap, which he put together well enough to claim eight place once again.
His luck didn't improve much once the racing began. Though a charge through the first corners saw him leap to fourth he ultimately became a victim of somebody else's over-ambition when he was taken out from behind.
Race two began with more problems. Thompson was forced to change a tyre damaged in his race one exit which demoted him to the back of the grid for the second race.
His reply was a measured drive which saw him climb up the order throughout the 20-lap race to finish fourth – just half a second off the podium places.
“I think that we have to be happy with the weekend,” summarised Thompson. “We had a few issues in practice and qualifying but I feel as though we came back well from them. A podium was a definite possibility in race 1 had we not been taken out and we were also only a lap or 2 away from being able to get 3rd in race 2.”
“We'll now see what happens over the winter and have a look at what we can put into place for 2011. In the meantime my management team have arranged that I will race in the re- established Korean Superprix at the end of November which will be held on the new Korean GP circuit.”
“Overall I think it was a very positive year for us. I have certainly learned a lot in my rookie year of F3 and should be able to come back stronger next year!”