Having already collected his 14th race win amongst events in the Pirelli World Challenge and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA, Thompson will now get behind the wheel of the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS with drivers Robert Thorne and Guy Cosmo.
This is the second time this year Thompson has partnered with Flying Lizard Motorsports. In March, he was part of the team's lineup for the 12 Hours of Sebring. Unfortunately, a mechanical problem took the Audi out of the race after only an hour, before Thompson could drive.
"I'm extremely excited to be back with the Lizards," Thompson said. "They're one of the most well-known and successful teams in sportscar racing. It's an honor to be a part of the team. I raced with them at Sebring and had some bad luck, but we're back and with an A+ driver lineup."
Thompson's last trip to Road Atlanta resulted in a victory and the 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Championship. For that reason and many more, the 2.54-mile, 10-turn road course is a favorite for the young driver.
"I am thrilled about going to Road Atlanta for a 10-hour race," Thompson said. "I'm looking forward to spending that kind of time on the track. The endurance aspect is really interesting. We'll have to make sure all the drivers have our chemistry lined up to help optimize the driver changes. We'll need to find a good setup that works amongst all of us to keep our speed up the entire race, stay at the front of the pack and hopefully go for a win at the end."
After claiming the GT3 Cup Challenge USA crown last year, Thompson recently collected the Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup presented by MOMO Championship this year in dominating fashion. Though his most recent racing seasons have all taken place in a Porsche 911, Thompson learned at Sebring that the Audi R8 is an easy transition.
"I didn't find the Audi to be as big of a learning curve as I expected going into Sebring," Thompson explained. "I felt very comfortable in the car right away. It has a lot of aero, bigger brakes and bigger tires. In the Porsche Cup car, you really need to work with the car to make it go fast. In the Audi, it has so many engineering tricks and driver aids that are designed for racing. Being able to utilize those tools as a driver is great and made the learning curve brief."
Petit Le Mans begins Saturday at 11:15am ET and runs into the darkness with the checkered flag falling at 9:15pm. It will be an experience Thompson won't soon forget and one that could potentially raise his profile internationally.
"Petit Le Mans is among the most famous races in the U.S.," Thompson said. "It's right up there with the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. They call it Petit Le Mans for a reason; it's a mini version of Le Mans in France. We'll have teams, drivers and fans from all over the world. To do well there would help me a lot as a young driver trying to make it as a professional. It feels really good entering into it with a team you know can win."
The 18th Annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda takes place Saturday, Oct. 3. Live television coverage begins on FOX Sports 2 at 11am ET, with continuing coverage throughout day from both FS2 and IMSA.com. A full TV schedule, live timing and in-car cameras are available at IMSA.com and the IMSA App.
The Thompson Organization is proud to participate in the 2015 Driving Away the Cold effort! As a participating dealer in this program, we will be donating a brand new winter coat to a local child in need each time a vehicle is sold at our store this month.
Driving Away the Cold is a philanthropic program started in January of 2008 by the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation, of which we are a member. The program has one simple but very important mission: to provide new winter coats to underprivileged children living in the five-county region of Philadelphia.