Buckle Up For A Thrilling 2003, Says BTCC Champ Thompson

Fasten your seatbelts for another action-packed, bumper-bashing, wheel-to-wheel British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) in 2003!

Vauxhall star James Thompson, newly crowned as 2002 champion, predicts no let-up when the UK's leading domestic racing series returns to British circuits in April.

“It's going to be pretty tough and there will be even more competition,” James told the Motor Show News, in between signing dozens of autographs for fans who crowded around the Vauxhall stand on Motorsport Day.

James is not resting on his laurels despite a successful year at the wheel of the 150 mph Astra Coupé.

“With the weight penalty they give to successful cars, the front-runners seem to change from weekend to weekend,” said James, who was joined for the signing sessions with Vauxhall teammate and sparring partner, France's Yvan Muller.

Declaring himself impressed with the stands at the 2002 Show, Yorkshireman James revealed that he particularly enjoys racing in front of his home crowd at Croft Circuit in the county.

“It's a really cracking event, I like them all, but I always seem to receive massive support at my home track.”

Despite being a dominant force in the BTCC for several years, James has not abandoned ambitions to try other forms of motorsport.

He finished eleventh in a Peugeot in the British Rally Championship and would also like to sample the high-speed thrill of Le Mans sports cars.

Published 2 November 2002 Melanie Carter

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