Thompson, Vaulkhard to Contest European Touring Car Cup

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Englishmen James Thompson and Harry Vaulkhard will hope to bring back the 2009 European Touring Car Cup to the UK by winning the annual race held this year at the Circuit of Braga in Portugal.

Both Thompson and Vaulkhard will compete in the premier Super 2000 class of the race, which also caters for Production and S1600 cars.

Vaulkhard will race a Chevrolet Lacetti, prepared by his (now) regular BTCC team Bamboo Engineering, where he will be joined by Duarte Felix da Costa, one of four Portuguese drivers hoping to take advantage of home track advantage.

James Thompson, who has split his season between the British, Danish and World Touring Car Championships, is to drive a Danish run Honda Accord, alongside Per Poulsen.

They will be joined in the 13 car S2000 class field by WTCC regular Franz Engstler, who will enter his and other BMW 320si under the Liqui Moly Team Engstler banner and one time BTCC driver Vincent Rademaker, who now mostly race in the German ADAC Procar Series.

In contrast to the WTCC series, where diesel powered cars have began to dominate there is only one SEAT Leon TDI entered, though it is in capable hands, being driven by new SEAT Eurocup champion Norbert Michelisz.

However, all are likely to have to beat two time and defending ETCC champion (and newly crowned Danish Touring Car champion) Michel Nykjær who will drive a single Lacetti entered by the ominously titled Perfection Racing.

The European Touring Car Cup was created in 2005 after the new WTCC superseded the European season and has previously been held at Vallelunga, Estoril, Adria and the Salzburgring.

It is made up of two 50km races, the second with top eight finishers of race one reversed on the starting the grid, with title being awarded to the driver who scores the most points using the FIA's normal 10-8-6…. points system.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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