Multiple touring car champions, VX Racing continue their quest to add another British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) title to their existing roll of honour, when they take to the track this weekend at Donington Park for rounds seven, eight and nine.
The 1.96 miles of the Leicestershire circuit always provides thrilling action, and last year the torrential wet conditions did not play favourably for VX Racing. However the team, who has already scored three victories from six races this season, is confident of adding to its points tally in the manufacturers’ title fight.
Three weeks ago at Rockingham Circuit, double ex-BTCC Champion Matt Neal scored an incredible victory in the wet, and has every intention this weekend of adding more points to his championship challenge.
Birmingham based Neal can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of his Vectra VXR, but doesn’t expect everything to go his way: “Donington is a great track and the Vectra VXR is a strong car, however this weekend is not going to be easy; expect really close racing and we will truly have to fight for every point.
“I class Donington Park as my local track. I have a lot of fond memories and this is where I won my first ever BTCC race, as well as clinched my first BTCC title, so fingers crossed for more success come Sunday.”
Giovanardi said of his expectations for this weekend: “Donington Park is not one of my favourite tracks for sure, but I have a good car so I hope to have a good weekend. This year it’s a tougher season, there are eight drivers who can consistently be quick and get points, so I think to be the winner you will need to be more strategic in how you attack the races.”
Surrey’s Tom Onslow-Cole is upbeat for the weekend: “I like Donington, it is a quick track and I feel really positive going into the weekend because I had my first saloon car victory here. It would be nice if the rain would just hold-off for once though.”
Vauxhall’s 2007 BTCC Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi is currently first in the drivers’ championship with 63 points; team-mates Matt Neal and Tom Onslow-Cole have a credible 47 points and 20 points respectively after six of this season’s 30 races.
VX Racing team principal Ian Harrison commented on his expectations for the weekend. “I am reasonably happy with how the whole team is performing. From the start of the season the commitment has been there to see but there is always room for improvement. If we remain focused there should be no reason for us not to have a good run at Donington on Sunday.”
Vauxhall is the most successful manufacturer of the modern era of BTCC, having accumulated 114 race wins. Since first entering the BTCC in 1989, Vauxhall’s works teams have won 18 titles:
Manufacturers Championships Vauxhall Vectra (2007) VXR Astra Sport Hatch (2005) Astra Coupé (2004) Astra Coupé (2003) Astra Coupé (2002) Astra Coupé (2001) Cavalier GSi (1992) Drivers Championships Fabrizio Giovanardi (2007) James Thompson (2004) Yvan Muller (2003) James Thompson (2002) Jason Plato (2001) John Cleland (1995) John Cleland (1989) Team Titles (2004, 2003, 2002, 2001) The Vauxhall Vectra VXR won ten races in its debut 2007 season.
Four cylinder engine with 2000cc capacity Transverse mounted six-speed transmission Front suspension: Racing design McPherson struts with lightweight lower wishbones and anti-roll bar Rear suspension: Lightweight torsion beam with anti roll bar. Penske damper units & Eibach springs 17" x 9" wheels Vehicle weight 1140 kg (including driver) The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) was formed in 1958 and is the UK’s most popular motor racing spectacle. Its race season comprises ten events at top circuits across the UK. It is contested by professional racing drivers in competition versions of every day road cars, giving it tremendous public appeal. Around 300,000 watch the BTCC trackside each year.
All three BTCC races from Rockingham Motor Speedway will be broadcast live on ITV4 from 12:30 until 17:30. Following the BTCC broadcast will be the second and final installment of the 2007 VXR Racing Driver of the Year competition, in which a member of the public wins the opportunity to become a professional racing driver. The programme will be repeated on Saturday 19 April at 17:00