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Thompson fades in qualifying

1 January 1901

James Thompson is confident he can make a bigger impression in the races after qualifying in 11th position for the final rounds of the World Touring Car Championship at Macau.

The Brit had not slipped outside the top four throughout free practice, but qualifying was a different matter as he couldn't capitalise on the slipstream techniques employed by his rivals.

As such, while Thompson managed to lower his best lap by 1.5secs, it still wasn't good enough to get himself inside the top ten, leaving him in a precarious mid-field position around the infamously unforgiving circuit.

Nonetheless, as Thompson has already shown, the Honda Accord traditionally performs well in Macau, something the Imola race winner is certain will help him in the races.

"The car is strong and we have demonstrated that in our testing and free practice results. The times of my competitors have been helped by the slipstream, so I think they had an advance of three or four seconds. However, in the races this will change and I am confident we can improve our position."

Frustratingly for Thompson, the slipstream should have come from his team-mate for the weekend, Andre Couto. However, the Macanese driver spent the session learning his way around the new car, eventually securing a solid 16th on the grid.

"It was a hard session for me; the team have done a fantastic job but not knowing the car as well as James, it was difficult to set a good time. I hope to have a good race and will do my best on the track."


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