Template:BTCC driver James Thompson (born April 26 1974) is an English auto racing driver from York. He has twice been champion of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). From 2005, he has raced for Alfa Romeo, Seat then Alfa Romeo again in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).
He started racing in the BTCC in a privately-entered Peugeot in 1994, his performances earning him a factory Vauxhall drive for 1995. He became the youngest ever race-winner that year, also taking 2 pole positions, before his season was cut short by a crash at Knockhill. 1996 was a transitional year with the new Vectra car, although James took a victory at Snetterton, moving up from 5th in a 2-lap burst in which Roberto Ravaglia and Rickard Rydell collided, Joachim Winkelhock spun, and Alain Menu broke down.
When Honda pulled out for 2001, James joined Team Egg Sport, racing their Vauxhall to 4 wins and 3rd overall - enough to earn him a return to the factory Vauxhall team for 2002, which featured a titanic 3-year battle with team-mate Yvan Muller in their dominant Astra. James was BTCC champion in both 2002 and 2004, and was 2nd in 2003, before seeking a new challenge in the World Touring Car Championship for 2005 with Alfa Romeo. His first WTCC season opened with a win, but was not a huge success overall. For 2006, he moved to SEAT and competed in both the BTCC and the WTCC, although he had to miss some BTCC rounds when they clashed with World touring car events.
He competed in 18 of the 30 races of the BTCC that year. For most of the season he raced in the second SEAT Sport UK car, but at Silverstone for the final round he used his Red Bull-backed WTCC car. After competing in the first 9 races, he was actually ahead of BTCC team leader Jason Plato. Despite having to yield the victory to Plato at Croft, he finished 6th overall, socring more points per entry than any other SEAT driver (although Plato failed to start 2 races due to accident damage). In 2007, Thompson rejoined Alfa Romeo in the WTCC. Though his aged Alfa Romeo 156 was not as well developed as his works-backed rivals, he fought for the championship title until the final race and ended the season in 3rd place.
Race of ChampionsEdit
After Jenson Button had to pull out of the 2006 Race of Champions, Thompson was announced as his replacement on December 13 2006. He competed for the English team with Andy Priaulx on December 16 2006.