James Thompson is keeping his expectations for the remainder of the World Touring Car season modest as he strives to develop the somewhat fragile Honda Accord.
Although Thompson has created a fine relationship with N.Technology after coming close to the title with the ageing Alfa Romeo 156 last season, a switch to the Accord this season has not been without problems.
The most recent of these saw three engines break during free practice at Estoril, the issue forcing the team to skip the races as they diagnosed what was wrong. While Thompson admits they never discovered what caused the failures, he was at least able to get some good miles under his belt at Brands Hatch.
But while Thompson is sure there is plenty to come from the car – which was last run on a shoestring budget by the Independent JAS Motorsport team back in 2006 -, he is aware of the time it will take to wring the best from it.
“There is a lot to come from the car, but we need to have fewer problems than we have had over the last few race meetings,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “We need trouble-free running and because of the engine maladies we've had, we haven't been able to run between Estoril and here like most people have.
“That is hindering the progress because we are testing on race weekends, so it would be nice to think we had the option to shake the car down.
With Thompson forced to develop the car by himself due to resource constraints, the former British Touring Car Champion is nonetheless committed to seeing the project through to making it a success.
“We don't have the resources to run a second car because it would be a hinderence rather than a help. If you're spreading what you've got too thinly then it is never a good thing. I just think we are being held back by a lack of mileage.
“I am loyal to my team. I am committed to them for this year, despite us not having had a programme since January. In my opinion, they are the best team in the pit lane because their results speak for themselves and I know this will become a winning project. People like to see you sooner rather than later, but the reality is that it takes a lot of time.
“I believe we are going in the right direction. There are certain things hindering us that won't go away and because of the engine rule we have, we need to run this engine for two race meetings, so it must be strong to be at the front. It is a shame because the basic Honda engine is probably one of the best you can buy in terms of reliability! But with hard work and determination, we will make it work.”