Thompson Retains European Crown As Nykjaer Wins Again

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James Thompson won a second consecutive European Touring Car Cup title after a podium finish in the final 2010 race at Franciacorta. Michel Nykjaer meanwhile kept up his 100 per cent record in the 2010 series after winning his fourth race from his fourth start.

Thompson entered the sixth and final race of this year's cup with an eight point advantage in the standings over both Nykjaer and Tomas Engstrom, meaning a sixth place finish for Thompson would be enough to retain the title he won in 2009. He started in sixth position, courtesy of the reverse grid system, with Engstrom seventh and Nykjaer eighth.

Turkish driver Aytac Biter started the race on pole position alongside Jorg Schori, but it was Biter's Borusan Otomotiv teammate Ibrahim Okyay who jumped into the lead at the start, having started fourth in his BMW. Engstrom climbed to second place during the opening lap, while Nykjaer spun after being hit by Biter as they fought for third. Biter was handed a drive-through penalty for causing the collision.

Engstrom took the lead from Okyay on the second lap, while Thompson was chasing Hartmann Honda teammate Wolfgang Treml for third position. He found a way through on lap four, before passing Okyay for second on lap five. A recovering Nykjaer also overtook Okyay to move into the top three, before taking second from Thompson on the following lap.

Nykjaer began chasing down Engstrom for the lead, passing him on lap 19 as Engstrom attempted to lap the BMW of Massimo Zanin. He held on to take the victory, with Engstrom second and Thompson third, which was enough for the Briton to take the title.

Treml and Okyay came together when fighting for fourth on the final lap, which earnt Treml a 30 second penalty that saw him drop to sixth. Peter Rikli benefited from the collision to finish fourth, ahead of Okyay.

Carsten Seifert took the Super 1600 title after winning the class in ninth overall in his Ford Fiesta. Vojislav Lekic made it four wins from his four starts in Super Production by finishing 11th overall, taking the title in that class.

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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