Thompson working on V8 Supercars return
Andrew Thompson hopes to be back on the Dunlop Series and Pirtek Enduro Cup grids next season ahead of a possible full-time return to the V8 Supercars Championship in 2016.
The 26-year-old has been away from racing over the last 12 months, focussing on business interests on his native Gold Coast.
Thompson returned to the V8 Supercars paddock as a guest of Triple Eight at Bathurst before taking to the wheel of the team’s Sandman ride car at Surfers Paradise.
He told Speedcafe.com that a year away has helped him deal with past disappointments and stirred a desire to get back behind the wheel next season.
“I wanted to completely get away from it, reset and refresh and then come back, hopefully next year,” he said.
“There are a lot of things that need to fall into place, but it’d be nice to do DVS (Dunlop Series) with a good team and combine that with the enduros.
“If we can have a good run there then cracking back into the main game in 2016 would be the goal.”
The return of Thompson to the V8 Supercars scene comes amid continued uncertainty over Paul Dumbrell’s position alongside Jamie Whincup for next year’s Enduro Cup.
Thompson previously drove with Whincup in 2011; the same year he won the Dunlop Series title for the dominant Holden operation.
While Thompson is understood to have held discussions with Triple Eight customer team Eggleston Motorsport about a Dunlop Series campaign, he downplayed talk that he could be in the mix to rejoin Whincup for the 2015 Enduro Cup.
“From my end, it’s just focusing on getting DVS sorted and letting them sort out what they’re going to do there,” he said.
“PD is a variable… if he stays, he stays, and if he goes, it could be a benefit for me, but it’s not a discussion that I’ve had (with Triple Eight).”
Despite shining in 2011, Thompson found himself without a deal for the following season after ultimately opting out of a potential full-time return to the V8 Supercars Championship with Tekno Autosports.
Thompson says that the troubled nature of his two previous full-time campaigns, with PWR in 2008 and with Walkinshaw Racing two years later, has made him hesitant to commit to new opportunities.
“After a few tough years Roland (Dane) and the Triple Eight guys really helped me out in 2011 with reestablishing myself and showing that before I’d never had the right equipment,” he reflected.
“I’ve been cautious over the years since not to ruin it (my reputation) by jumping into a full-time drive that would have been like the first two.
“Everyone has their own views on how they should do things and I’m sure a lot don’t agree with how I’ve gone about it, but it’s got to be right for me.”
Thompson joined Stone Brothers Racing for the 2012 endurance events, which led to a two-race contract with Erebus Motorsport last year.
A series of difficulties, including a near 300km/h off caused by a brake failure at Bathurst, then saw the driver elect against continuing with the team for the Gold Coast 600.