Young Irish racer Gary Thompson impressed many with his speed during his final outing of 2010 – a four day test at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
The 18-year-old took part in the test, which attracted drivers from Europe's leading domestic Formula 3 series. Having raced in the Japanese F3 Championship in 2010, Thompson switched to German team Performance Racing for the test, behind the wheel of an older-spec VW-powered Dallara F307 for the duration.
He impressed during the opening two days, going faster than many of those driving the newer F309 chassis. On the third day he raised the bar to set the fastest ever time around the Spanish circuit in a German-spec Formula 3 car, at 1m28.4s. On the fourth day he continued in this form to finish second overall.
Thompson was pleased with the way the test had gone. “Needless to say it was a really good test for us,” he said. “We spent the whole week working to a programme, the results of which were clear to see on the timesheets. I'll certainly be applying a lot of the data to next season's campaign when it will prove invaluable.
“Our pace was strong every day and we were the quickest of the German F3 runners for much of the week despite not placing too much emphasis on setting fast times. All in all it was a very positive test. We couldn't have hoped for much more.”
Thompson is close to finalising a deal to remain racing in Formula 3 for 2011. “Nothing's yet been signed but negotiations are at an advanced stage and I hope to be able to announce something in January,” he added.