James Thompson has spoken of his disappointment at having a victory in the final round of the World Touring Car Championship snatched away from him when he came off worse in a tangle with Augusto Farfus just over a lap from the finish.
Thompson was eyeing a perfect end to a troublesome maiden season with the new Honda Accord Euro R when he established a good lead from his reverse grid pole position.
However, having resisted Farfus's efforts in the early stages of the race, the Brazilian's determination to get past Thompson resulted in contact with just over a lap to go, forcing him into the barriers.
Heavily damaging the front and rear-end of the Honda, Thompson was devastated to miss out on the chance of a second win due to the actions of another driver.
"It has been a disappointing end to the season for the team; we did everything we could today,” he lamented. “To have Augusto [Farfus] hit us so close to the finish and take it away is gutting.
“The team worked long and hard to get into this position. The car was extremely fast all weekend and we had the race pace; to have the result stolen from us is a terrible disappointment."
Team manager Andrea Muller was also frustrated with the outcome, but was nonetheless encouraged with the performance of the car.
"It is a shame to have to end the season in this way. James has driven exceptionally well considering the difficult track and the car was very fast. We had a great first race to move from 11th into 8th and get pole position for race two.
“To do well and go home knowing that a win was so close is very disheartening for the team. Thanks to all of them for their hard work and effort; they have done a fantastic job this year.”