VX continues success story

VX Racing continued to rule at Thruxton for rounds ten, 11 and 12 of the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), taking home two race victories with birthday boy Tom Onslow-Cole behind the wheel of the Vectra VXR and two third places for Fabrizio Giovanardi. Giovanardi continues to lead the BTCC Drivers’ Championship by 18 points, with the team leading both the manufacturers’ and teams standings. Race oneTom Onslow-Cole turned his fantastic pole position from Saturday qualifying into his first-ever victory for VX Racing in race one at the Hampshire circuit.The 21-year-old had a great fight with Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic) early on until Shedden was forced to pit with a puncture. Onslow-Cole proved the Vectra VXR’s speed by pulling away from the rest of the field, and also recorded the fastest lap of the race on lap two with a time of 1:18.883. The reigning BTCC Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi and team-mate Matt Neal rounded-up the team result, coming home in third and fourth place for the Luton-based manufacturer. Race twoOnslow-Cole took race win glory again in the second race, following a superb drive through the field. The Vauxhall works driver recovered well from a slow start due to his 45kg on-board success ballast following his win earlier in the day, taking advantage of on-track battles between team-mate Neal and SEAT’s Darren Turner on lap 11; Onslow-Cole out-drove both to take third place. Onslow-Cole closed in on Colin Turkington (BMW) and in a fantastic overtaking manoeuvre on lap 16 moved into second place behind Giovanardi.Giovanardi, who was leading for most of the race and recorded the fastest race lap, picked up a puncture on the last lap, handing the glory over to his younger team-mate. Neal was involved in great on-track battles and following the incident with Turner, the VX Racing driver was nose-to-tail with Turkington until the end of the race. Neal eventually finished in a strong third place, making it a one-three for Vauxhall. Race threeVX Racing rounded-up a successful race day with a podium finish in the last race with Fabrizio Giovanardi taking home third. Starting from tenth on the grid, the Italian had a great start and picked his way through to fight amongst the top-four. Following an off from Adam Jones, Giovanardi charged past and was attacking Mat Jackson (BMW) for third place. The 41-year-old, defending his drivers’ title, finished in the points with an important third place.Neal secured fourth place with the winner from the earlier two races, Onslow-Cole, finishing in seventh to score valid points for the championship standings. Tom Onslow-Cole #10“I am really happy with today’s results. It was a shame I couldn’t fight more with Gordon [Shedden] but I’m confident I would have been able to overtake him because the car just felt so good. “There were moments when I thought I could hear something and you do get a bit paranoid, but I did everything to preserve my tyres to avoid a puncture. I enjoyed the second race much more than the first because I like coming through the field. “In race three we weren’t quite on it, the over-steering I used to my advantage earlier on did not work as well as the track surface warmed-up considerably, so this spoilt the results a little. But I have nothing to complain today, brilliant results for the team and the best birthday present I could’ve wished for.”Fabrizio Giovanardi #1“The success ballast was holding me back in the first race and I was not really in a position to attack any further. “I really gave it my all in the second race and had a great fight with Colin [Turkington]. He hit me twice so I thought I will get him next time round and that’s when I attacked coming into the last chicane. I was surprised to suffer from a tyre failure considering I did everything to look after the tyres well, but it’s just one of those things. “I was focusing on the tyres during the third race to avoid another puncture. I was not thinking about the championship and I’m happy to collect points. It’s not about winning every race, it’s about being consistent.”“Great results for Tom today, I’m really pleased for him. It was a great way to celebrate his birthday.”Matt Neal #4“I was tucked-in behind Fabrizio [Giovanardi] in the first race and was just a bit conscious of not knocking my team-mate so didn’t want to risk too much. “It was great to get on the podium in race two, but shame we didn’t get a one-two-three. I had some great battles with both Colin [Turkington] and Darren [Turner] where I actually ended up on the grass. Looking at all the little incidents I had during that race, I’m pretty pleased with the result. “I was taking it easy in the beginning and avoided the curbs as much as possible to save my tyres. I had a brilliant run on Adam Jones through Goodwood but I went a bit too quick and ended up on the grass.“Good weekend though, more solid points, let’s go to Croft with more of that on the agenda.”