James Thompson says it is ‘an honour’ to have claimed his first podium in racing in over seven years by finishing third in the FIA World Touring Car Cup’s second race at Zandvoort, saying that ‘podiums can be taken for granted’.
Thompson claimed the reverse-grid pole position for Monday’s second race in The Netherlands and the Brit was able to convert it into a strong result, despite losing out to eventual race winner Aurélien Comte at the very start.
The Münnich Motorsport driver’s last podium came when he finished third in the Gothenburg race of the 2011 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship with Volvo.
“It was so long ago I can’t even remember,” said Thompson to TouringCars.Net of his last podium finish. “It’s fitting that the first podium [in WTCR] came with Honda, it just seems right.
“I’m thankful to René [Münnich, team owner] for giving me the opportunity to do it – I feel part of the team. It’s nice to contribute something and it makes me happy.
“When you’ve had podiums over the years you can take it very much for granted. I’ve raced for 20-odd seasons and you take winning races and podiums for granted. When you’ve had a long time away from it you realise what an honour it is to be on the podium.
“You have to really earn the result. It feels fantastic and a nice boost for the self-esteem and for the boys on my car.”
Thompson added that the decision to hand second place to team-mate Yann Ehrlacher was his own, and that he had already discussed the possibility of doing so before the race began.
“I’m genuinely very happy. Sometimes you lose out through various things, but today has just been one of those days where everything just slots into place.
“I said beforehand that I was very happy that in the event of the guys being behind me, even if I was leading the race I would [let them pass]. I’m not fighting for the championship, and as much as I would love to, you can’t do that as those points might be valuable.
“Being a team player and making my contribution to the team to help if I can actually make me happy. I would feel disappointed if I thought I was taking points off Yann.”