British Touring Car star James Thompson says he has England's Rugby World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson to thank for making it to the finish line in Sunday's London Marathon.

Thompson completed the distance in three hours and 19 minutes - under his previous record - but admits that with six of the 26.2 miles to go he was starting to feel the affects of running through heavy rain and high winds.

"My feet were like lead and I was struggling. But then I came to an energy drink station and who hands me a bottle of Lucozade but Jonny Wilkinson! 'Come on, James!' he shouted at me and that really perked me up. I almost sprinted the last six miles," said Thompson, who will be in BTCC action for his Vauxhall team at Brands Hatch this coming weekend.

Thompson and three fellow runners helped to raise over ?10,000 for Marie Curie cancer care nurses in the world famous event. Thompson lost his father to cancer. "When my father was ill last year, the help that the Marie Curie nursing staff gave our family was invaluable," added Thompson. "I'm really pleased with what we've achieved for this fantastic charity."

After resting his blistered feet, Thompson will focus on pegging back the ten-point gap that Vauxhall team-mate Yvan Muller opened up at the head of the table in Thruxton's opening three BTCC rounds on Easter Sunday.

"It's fair to say that Brands has been a bit of a disaster these past few years," said Thompson. "In 2002, I went there with a 32-point lead over Yvan and we came out of it level on points. In one race my car's suspension broke and in the other Yvan knocked me off the track. Last year, I started on pole position but the two races also didn't work out.

"The racing will be fast and furious at Brands - it always is. We now have three races on raceday and the lay-out of the track means there's a big bottleneck of cars, particularly in the opening laps. Someone always gets eliminated."