Bobby Thompson is an 18 year old racing driver currently driving for BTCC Team Hard in the VW World Championship. Last year Bobby came 10th in the Championship and claimed his first ever win at Snetterton. He’s followed on from his Dad Paul Thompson, who raced in Legends, Eurocar and Short Oval racing, in driving and is now hoping to make a serious challenge for the VW title this year.
How and when did you start Karting? My Dad was racing cars when I was young and motorsport was something I was really interested in. I was nearly turning 8 years old at the time and he bought me my first kart in 2004.
Who did you look up to in the racing world when you started Karting?
I never had someone I looked up to in the motorsport world when I was younger, I was just trying to do my own thing with my Dad.
When you were younger did you do any other sports?
I spent a lot of my time swimming when I wasn’t racing karts.
What has been your favourite track you’ve raced at?
My favourite circuit I’ve driven is Spa-Francorchamps in Belguim.
When you crossed the line at Snetterton for your first win what thoughts were going through your mind?
When I crossed the line, at first it didn’t sink in and I was just happy with the result. It wasn’t until I got round the corner after I’d finished before I realised how much we had won by and that we finally had a good setup with the car.
At the start of last season what were your aims and did you meet them?
At the start of last season our goals were to finish each race in the top 10. I had engine trouble at the start of the season which meant we were struggling to keep in the top 10, but fortunately the team got the engine troubles figured out which put me on the podium.
What do you like to do when you’re not racing?
I like to keep fit down the gym like alot of other race drivers, apart from all that I enjoy my job as a race driver coach.
Are there certain techniques you have used to develop your racing skills or do you just have natural ability?
I believe I have natural ability but you can not beat getting out in the car as much as you can for practice.
Do you have to have a set diet to keep yourself fit?
Yes, I have a set diet and keep myself fit as possible. I’ve been a lot more strict just after Christmas!
During a racing weekend are you able to relax and switch off when you’re not in the car?
I think I am one of the most relaxed drivers, I don’t let the pressure get to me. I like to go through the footage from when I was last out in the car.
Who’s been the most influential person in your racing career?
My Dad – he may not be the best driver but he has a fantastic understanding of how a car works and moves around so I have a lot of respect for what he has to say on a race weekend.
Was there a moment when you knew you were going to become a professional driver?
When I first started Karting it was just a bit of fun, then I started getting better and we entered the British Championship and it took off from there.
What is your aim this year in racing?
My aim this year is to win the VW Cup Championship.
I’d like to thank Bobby for his time and making it possible to do this interview. He is a very good young prospect and I wish him all the best in his attempt to win the VW Championship this year.