James Thompson says he feels the Team Dynamics Honda Civic has the potential to win the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship after a day testing the car at Donington Park.
Thompson, winner of the BTCC title for Vauxhall in both 2002 and 2004, took the chance to test the Civic as he considers his future options, with current employers N.Technology yet to confirm a World Touring Car Championship programme for 2009.
Thompson has been linked to a possible BTCC return since mid-way through the season, with Dynamics team boss Steve Neal keen to get the 34-year-old on board.
However, Thompson was reported to have told the team that he wanted to be sure the Civic had the potential to fight for the title if he were to consider a comeback, with the test at Donington giving him the chance to sample what the car was capable of.
Despite damp but drying conditions, Thompson said he was been impressed by the car and was confident it would be a title challenger, adding that he saw no better place to be than Dynamics if he does return to the BTCC.
"The car felt very good and has a lot of potential," he told the official series website. "I was very impressed with the base package of the car, then we made some changes and worked through a programme of things. I was really, really pleased. It was a very productive test.
"The Civic has lots of similarities to the others I've raced. A good car is always a good car. But any car can always be better and the key thing is to have the team with the working mentality of constantly wanting to develop further and always thinking 'how can we be faster'? That's something you can see in the people at Dynamics. All said, it's a genuinely exciting prospect to come and have a crack at the championship with a team that's highly motivated to do it.”
"Based on what I've seen during this test and the motivation I've seen inside the team to win the championship I couldn't think of any better place to be than Dynamics. If I came back I wouldn't want it to be just because I've nothing else to do. It would be to have a proper go at the title.
"The car has the potential to win the title and I've just got see what happens in the next few weeks regards the WTCC and suchlike."