Thompson Denied Victory At IAME World Finals


Thompson Denied Victory At IAME World Finals

Red Bull Junior driver, Harry Thompson proved just why he is one of Britains young Formula 1 hopefuls, after he put on a show of pure class in the Final of the Senior X30 IAME World Finals last weekend. Thompson started on Pole Position, after securing victory in the Pre-Final on Sunday, only to be deliberately hit off from the lead by another driver in the Final. Despite dropping back to 20th at the time of the incident, Thompson pulled off one of the drives of the week, as he made his way back through the order, crossing the line in 4th, just 0.4s behind eventual winner Joe Turney. Earlier in the week, Thompson had qualified 18th out of 144 drivers, winning 3 of his 6 qualifying heats, gifting him a 3rd place starting grid for the Pre-Final. 

Date 14th October 2018
Event World Championship
Track Le Mans

Peruvian drivers, Alejandro Jaramillo and Matias Zagazeta were also in action for the Fusion outfit over the week. With difficult wet conditions in Qualifying, Jaramillo was 10th in his group and 37th overall, however Zagazeta (18th) struggled and could only manage 69th overall, however with a dryer outlook ahead for the rest of the week, there was all left to play for in the Qualifying Heats.

With the heats spread over the course of 3 days, both drivers looked to make ground on their disappointing qualifying results. However, with the worlds best drivers on show, such a strong grid proved difficult for both Jaramillo and Zagazeta. Both drivers found it a struggle to make up ground in the short 11 lap races, and were unfortunate not to make it through automatically to the A Final, finishing up 55th and 56th at the intermediate stage. The duo would therefore be forced to race In the B Final, where only 1 driver would be promoted into the Pre-Final on Sunday afternoon, meaning it would be the end of the road for at least 1 of them. As the race got underway, both drivers initially had a good opening lap, making up several positions, but as the pack began to spread out, it was MBR’s Sean Butcher who clinched victory and automatic promotion to the A Final, ruining both the South American drivers’ dream of an A Final start.

In the Pre-Final, Thompson immediately hit the front, followed closely by Evolution Racing driver, Joey Van Splunteren. With experience on his side, it looked as though Van Splunteren was biding his time, analysing where he could catch Thompson out. However, Harry had other ideas, as he got his head down, and never looked back once, stringing together lap after lap of pure class, stretching his lead out further and further. At the flag, Thompson took victory, cementing Pole Position for the Final, with Van Splunteren falling to 3rd on the last lap.

With all the front running drivers starting the Final on new tyres, it proved difficult for Thompson to create a gap to Van Splunteren who was running in second position for the early laps. However, Thompson’s reign at the front came to an end on lap 3, when the Evolution driver made a move at turn 1, pushing Thompson back down the order to 5th. With the drivers nose to tail and heading into turn 2, French driver Nicolas Picot made no efforts to make the corner, colliding with Thompson and spinning him out of the lead pack. Picot would later be disqualified from the race for his actions. Determine not to give up, and with over three quarters of the race remaining, Thompson gained composure and started to make his way back through the pack. Despite picking up a nose cone penalty in the incident, Thompson completed a superb comeback to cross the line in 4th position, collecting fastest lap along the way. 5 seconds was added to his final time, demoting him to 8th, however everyone watching witnessed what a class drive it was from the young 14 year old.

Pictures – Marc Quinlivan Photography & Twenty-One Creation


A Tale Of What Could Have Been For Michelsen in X30 Masters

Gustavo Michelsen was Fusion Motorsport’s soul entry for the Senior Masters X30 category, at the IAME World Finals last week in Le Mans, France. With positive signs in testing, things were looking good for the South American driver.

With a total of 70 drivers entered, Michelsen was selected to run in Group 2 of Qualifying, where he posted the 3rd fastest time in his session, and 5th overall, underlining his speed in the weeks earlier testing. In the qualifying heats to determine the grid for the Pre-Final, Michelsen achieved a heat win, along with a 3rd and a 4th, securing him 2nd and a front row start on Sunday.

However, things didn’t quite go according to plan on finals day, as an incident in the Pre-Final saw Michelsen drop to 21st at the flag, and to add insult to injury, he received a 5 second nose cone penalty as well. Things didn’t get any better for Michelsen in the Final either, as his race ended on the first lap after he suffered an accident with another driver, forcing them both to retire.

Pictures – Marc Quinlivan Photography & Twenty-One Creation