Thompson and Hartmann Honda split

by Matt Auger

British star James Thompson is not going to defend his European Touring Car Cup title after announcing that he has stopped the programme with Danish outfit Hartmann Honda on the eve of the opening round of the Danish Touring Car Championship and the Scandinavian Touring Car Cup at the Jyllandsringen in Denmark this weekend.

Thompson, who currently leads the standings in the ETCC after a win and a third at Braga last month is now looking for another drive, and is working hard with his race engineer Marco Calovolo to get back on track, as he explains: “I’ve heard that there could be more manufacturer entries in the 2011 WTCC. I hope that will be the case, as I feel we have some unfinished business in the world championship. Together with my friend and engineer Calovolo we’re trying to find something for me, he’s working hard as usual for that, as much as I work hard for him. I really hope we’ll find something both for him and for me.”

The Yorkshire man isn't the only big name touring car driver who is without a drive in 2010. Double British Touring Car Championship Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi is without a drive again, having completed his one race deal with Triple Eight Race Engineering while reigning Champion Colin Turkington was unable to secure the funds to defend his crown.

“Marco Calovolo (his engineer), the boys and myself were really looking forward to racing for them, I had good results there and enjoyed the racing, but it’s not continuing anymore and it’s such a shame. That’s the end of one chapter; I have to find some work now!” was Thompson's reaction when it was announced that he would be leaving the team, and went on to add “At the moment I just feel it’s frustrating not to be able to fight for a championship this year, I was looking forward to the Scandinavian Cup and the ETCC. But, in the end, that’s the way life is.”

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