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25 October 2011

Thompson makes first Formula 1 outing in Taiwan

Days after our interview with Gary Thompson, the 19-year old Dubliner flew to Taiwan and got behind the wheel of a two-seater Formula 1 car for the grand opening of all-new Penbay International Circuit. The outing was not a full-on test, but rather served as a demonstration run where distinguished guests got a piggyback ride around the 3.5 km circuit. 
Despite the wet conditions, Thompson enjoyed his time behind the wheel of the Minardi Formula 1 two-seater which produced in excess of 700hp from its race-derived 3L Cosworth V10 engine.
“The car has a lot of power which can be difficult to exploit in the wet, but I know the circuit and KCMG CEO's enjoyed the wheelspin regardless! I’ve been racing in Asia for the past three seasons so to be the first person to drive a Formula 1 car in Taiwan is personally extremely rewarding. Penbay International Circuit is a great venue with a lot of potential in a part of the world that is really beginning to embrace motor sport. Everyone at the track did a fantastic job to get it up to standard in time for the event. You never know, I might be back here one day putting my local knowledge to good use!”
Thomspon, who spent the 2011 season in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, became the youngest Irishman in history to drive a modern grand prix car, as well as the first to pilot one in Taiwan. The track time was also an opportunity for Thompson to catch up with the KCMG team who, having overseen his 2011 single-seater campaign, were now sampling their first taste of running Formula 1 machinery. It was also a new experience for the thousands of fans in attendance, many of whom had never witnessed a grand prix car in the flesh before.
Follow Gary Thompson on, through the official Gary Thompson Racing Facebook page, or Twitter @GthompsonRacing.