Giovanardi extends points lead
Jason Plato and Mat Jackson shared the race wins in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship’s latest rounds at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk today, but it is reigning Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi who continues to lead the standings and by an increased margin as the title race next heads to the daunting Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire on Sunday 27 July.
Having qualified on pole position on Saturday, Plato, driving SEAT’s turbo-diesel Leon TDI, won both the day’s opening two races to briefly take hold of second in the points table, but a non-finish in race three has dropped him back to third behind Giovanardi’s Vauxhall team-mate Matt Neal.
Italian Giovanardi achieved a seventh and two third place finishes – and also set two fastest race laps in his Vauxhall Vectra VXR – today to stretch his advantage from 23 to 34 points overall.
“It was looking like Jason was going to come away from today a lot closer to me in the championship, but fortunately for me he had problems in race three and I could take the third place,” said Giovanardi. “Four race meetings to go; 12 races. I still have a nice lead but it is important to keep up the pace – I know the others will be ready to take any opportunities they can.”
BMW Dealer Team UK driver Jackson’s win in race three – his second of the season – came after he converted a front-row starting position on the reversed grid into an instant lead and from there he was never headed. But right behind him throughout and closing right up on the final lap was fellow BMW driver Steven Kane who crossed the line in second to give an ecstatic Motorbase team its first-ever podium finish in the BTCC.
Elsewhere, Team RAC BMW driver Colin Turkington has taken command of the Independents championship with three very strong results – including a second outright.
Vauxhall and its VX Racing squad continue to comfortably head the Manufacturers’ and outright Teams’ championships. Team RAC also maintains its lead of the Independent Teams’ order.
Leading positions BTCC race 1, Snetterton (provisional):
1. Jason Plato (GBR), SEAT Sport UK/SEAT Leon TDI, 21 laps in 27m38.560s
2. Darren Turner (GBR), SEAT Sport UK/SEAT Leon TDI, +0.583s
3. Tom Chilton (GBR), Team Halfords/Honda Civic, +1.364s
Fastest lap: Turner, 1m11.711s (New Lap Record)
Leading positions, BTCC race 2, Snetterton (provisional):1. Jason Plato (GBR), SEAT Sport UK/SEAT Leon TDI, 20 laps in 25m39.832s2. Colin Turkington (GBR), Team RAC/BMW 320si, +3.169s3. Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +3.700s
Fastest lap: Giovanardi, 1m12.248s
Leading positions, BTCC race 3, Snetterton (provisional):
1. Mat Jackson (GBR), BMW Dealer Team UK/BMW 320si, 18 laps in 22m00.124s
2. Steven Kane (GBR), Motabase/BMW 320si, +0.770s
3. Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +2.352s
Fastest lap: Giovanardi, 1m12.442s
Leading Points (provisional):
1. Fabrizio Giovanardi, 171 points
2. Matt Neal, 1373. Jason Plato, 1324. Mat Jackson, 1225. Colin Turkington, 1216. Tom Onslow-Cole, 108
Manufacturers’ Points (provisional):1. Vauxhall, 418
2. SEAT, 344.
Teams’ Points (provisional):1. VX Racing, 3502. SEAT, 2123. Team Halfords, 156
Independent Drivers’ (provisional):1. Colin Turkington, 1912. Mat Jackson, 1763. Adam Jones, 174
Independent Teams’ (provisional):1. Team RAC, 2022. Team Air Cool, 1813. BMW Dealer Team UK, 180