Thompson left without a drive

ANDREW THOMPSON’S fledgling V8 Supercar career has taken an unwanted detour as the former Lismore racer has been left without a drive this year.

Thompson had been negotiating with Ford to become one of its production drivers after his PWR team basically folded at the end of last season. But with only 30 licences available this year, he’s been squeezed out of the action.

Thompson is looking to get a drive with one of the teams contesting this year’s endurance events,
Bathurst and Phillip Island, although that won’t pay the bills.

If nothing else comes along, Thompson will fall back on the real estate licence he’s already qualified for and earn a living selling property on the Gold Coast, where he now lives.

“It’s a little bit frustrating the thought of being out for the year, but I am sure that I will come back stronger next year,” he said.

“I guess sometimes that you’ve got have a bit of shot-term pain in order to get a bit of long-term gain.

“Obviously, I had a few options in the (V8 supercar) Main Game, but it wasn’t the car that I was looking for.

“Not every car is a good car, and it can make the difference between a top 10 finish, or being a part of the high 20s.”

Thompson, who grew up racing go-karts in Lismore, spent just one year on the V8 Supercar circuit with the ill-fated PWR team.

An unfortunate crash during qualifying at Bathurst, involving the team’s leading driver and part-owner Paul Weel, proved to be a major setback.

“It was tough one for the team, we weren’t one of the biggest teams running around, and when you have a $400,000 car written off, it definitely hurts,” he said.

“The race at Bathurst was definitely a nail in the coffin for the team as Paul was the part-owner and it was a family-run operation,” he said.

“But as far as a motorsport experience goes, he was lucky to get out of that car alive. If it was 15cm further along, he would have been killed.”

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