James Thompson has secured his first points finish with the N.Technology Honda Accord in only the second World Touring Car Championship race meeting for the car at Pau.
Having been involved in a number of incidents in Valencia that prevented him from scoring on the cars debut, Thompson went into the French weekend eager to open his account for the year and hoping to take advantage of a weight break given to the Accord ahead of the event.
After a disappointing qualifying session that saw him start race one from 14th on the grid, the Briton came through to take the flag in eleventh place.
Despite the return of rain for race two, Thompson was able to make his way up to ninth place and a fine move on Jorg Muller on lap ten allowed him to secure eighth place at the flag and the final championship point.
"You always want to be fighting for race wins but scoring the first point is a big step towards that goal,” he said. “The car was really good in the wet during free practice so I knew we had the pace to fight for a top eight finish. Considering how little time we have had to develop the car, it's fantastic. I just took it easy in the first few laps of the race and used the pace of the car to pick people off. With the amount of work everyone at the team has put in, today's result is a great reward.
"We also showed we had found some more pace in the dry in race one, so after a difficult qualifying session there's a lot we can take from today. If we were starting the weekend again with what we know now we'd be a lot more competitive, which shows what we've been able to learn."
Team manager Andrea Muller was also pleased with the point although he admitted there is work to do to get the car onto the pace during dry conditions.
"It's fantastic to have scored our first point,” he said. “We showed during practice that we had good pace in the wet and certainly the conditions helped us in the race. We still need to improve our pace in the dry and we kept working at the car - it was definitely improved in the first race. But I like to see the glass as half-full. We have finished four out of four races, so we have reliability, we have our first point and we have been making good progress."