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May 27, 2014 - 06:15 AM
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Rain Shortens Thompson's Lime Rock Weekend
Posted by: newsla on May 27, 2014 - 06:13 AM
Sports Cars
Rain Shortens Thompson's Lime Rock Weekend


Colin Thompson was on a mission to extend his Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Championship lead in Rounds Five and Six at Lime Rock Park, but his opportunities to do so were cut in half due to severe weather.

 

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Lime Rock Parks’ notoriously fickle weather first got the better of Thompson and the Kelly Moss Motorsports crew in Saturday’s qualifying session. What started off as a dry session turned into a damp one, leaving only two laps to turn a proper time. The limited dry track time relegated Thompson to a seventh-place starting position for Race 1.

While many dreaded the return of rain for race day, Thompson was crossing his fingers for wet weather at Lime Rock Park.

“I actually love racing in the rain,” Thompson said. “You need to take your ego out of it, calm yourself down and be a cautious driver. The line between grip and no grip is thin as ice. It’s a different method of driving and a totally different line around the track.”

The overcast skies for Race 1 did not bring any rain, but it didn’t take long for the No. 14 Porsche of Bucks County Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to meticulously pick its way through the field from seventh to fourth place. Thompson took advantage of two competitors making errors and then passed Sloan Urry entering the Uphill shortly after the race’s only full-course caution.

The race heated up from there as Thompson began to put the pressure on Michael Lewis for third place and made his move in the Uphill. The two cars made contact at the crest of the hill and then again in the following corner, West Bend. Thompson was able to recover from the first hit, but the second one was more costly.

“That put me two wheels off—nearly the entire car off—and I fell back probably three seconds,” recalled Thompson. “Sloan was able to get back around me. At that point, it was just about points and trying to finish the race in one piece. We had another race to think about in four hours.”

Thompson crossed the line in fifth with his fastest race lap placing him sixth on the grid for Race 2.

If the 20-year old Pennsylvania native performed a rain dance before Race 2, it may have worked too well. Ominous clouds appeared overhead as the GT3 Cup field prepared to take the grid. The skies opened up and a massive rain storm quickly flooded the 1.5-mile circuit.

Although the storm stopped, race officials were concerned with the amount of standing water around the circuit. The water could not be cleared in time before Lime Rock Park’s nightly curfew and the Series was forced to cancel Round Six of the Championship. A makeup round remains a possibility, however.

“I was hoping to redeem myself from the first race with a podium,” Thompson said. “If it had been a normal rain that we could have raced in, I think we would have been in a really good position and a podium, if not a win, would have been in our future. But that wasn’t the scenario and the Series made the right call today. Hopefully we get the chance to make that round up later in the year.

“I think we’re going to be in good shape for Watkins Glen though. I was hoping this would be my track, but things changed in a way we couldn’t have predicted. Now it’s onto The Glen where we’ve had good history.”

With five rounds officially in the books, Thompson is now tied with Lime Rock Park Race 1 winner Angel Benitez Jr. for the Championship lead, each with 76 points. The pair hold a four-point lead over second-place Michael Lewis.

Thompson has a month off before returning to the track for Rounds Seven and Eight at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York. He’ll climb back behind the wheel of the No. 14 Porsche of Bucks County Porsche 911 GT3 Cup June 26 – 29.

Colin Thompson

DOB: 2/17/1994 (Age: 20)
Hometown: Perkasie, PA
Team: Kelly Moss Racing
Car No: 14
Resume: quarter midgets, Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, Skip Barber, Formula Ford, USF2000


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