ETCC 2010 Round 1: Race 1 – Thompson continues title defence

by Matt Auger

Hartmann Honda had the best start possible to the 2010 FIA European Touring Car Cup after reigning Champion James Thompson led home a 1, 2 with Tomas Engstrom pulling off a brave move to secure second.

At the start, Thompson defended from the BMW's of Cesar Campanico (Novadriver Racing Team) and Kristian Poulsen (Poulsen Motorsport), a battle that would be run for the whole 17 lap encounter.

Lap 3 saw contact between the Croatian driver Marin Colak and Turkish BMW driver Ibrahim Okyay, with Colak dropping back two positions due to the contact.

Behind the top 3, Thompson's Hartmann Honda team mate Engstrom was passing the leading Seat Michael Rossi for fourth and then set about joining the top 3, to form a 4 car battle for the race victory.

Lap 13 saw the battle for second intensify, as Campanico, Poulsen and Engstrom all closed up on Thompson. Entering the chicane, Campanico bit the back on Thompson's Honda Accord Euro R, pushing the Honda driver sideways. Thompson held on, and behind, at the apex of the Chicane, the BMW's made contact, and as they exited the chicane, Engstrom joined in and made it 3 abreast, before finishing the move into turn 9.

After this, Thompson had a clear run to the line with team mate Engstrom absorbing the pressure from behind.

Pole for the second race went to the BMW 320i E46 of Yuriy Protasov, who finished in eighth place.

In the S1600 battle, the win went to the ATM Racing Ford Fiesta ST of Jens Lohnig, ahead of reigning Champion Carsten Seifert of the NK Racing Team. The only Super Production entry of Latvian Mircis Birkens retired with an engine failure. Birkens was the only DNF of the first race.

Position # Class Driver Car Gap Fastest Lap
1 1 S2000 James Thompson Honda Accord Euro R 25:04.949 1:24.326
2 2 S2000 Tomas Engstrom Honda Accord Euro R +0.679 1:24.259
3 11 S2000 Kristian Poulsen BMW 320si E90 +0.889 1:24.379
4 9 S2000 Cesar Campanico BMW 320si E90 +1.103 1:24.334
5 13 S2000 Ibrahim Okyay BMW 320si E90 +10..782 1:24.999
6 12 S2000 Michael Rossi Seat Leon 2.0 TFSi +16.606 1:24.860
7 3 S2000 Marin Colak Seat Leon 2.0 TFSi +19.537 1:25.144
8 6 S2000 Yuriy Protasov BMW 320i E46 +32.788 1:25.925
9 8 S2000 Timur Sadredinov Seat Leon 2.0 TFSi +41.662 1:26.002
10 7 S2000 Leonid Protasov BMW 320i E46 +1:29.582 1:29.505
11 72 S1600 Jens Lohnig Ford Fiesta ST + 1 lap 1:30.302
12 5 S2000 Irina Protasova BMW 320i E46 + 1 lap 1:29.695
13 71 S1600 Carsten Seifert Ford Fiesta ST + 1 lap 1:31.341
14 73 S1600 Florian Heitmeier Ford Fiesta ST + 1 lap 1:32.041
DNF 51 SP Mircis Birkens Honda Civic Type R DNF 1:29.664

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