Giovanardi on brink of title


Fabrizio Giovanardi says he wants to tie up the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship in the first of this Sunday's races at Brands Hatch so he can "go and play" in the season's final two rounds later in the afternoon.

Nine points - achievable with a third-place finish - would secure Giovanardi a second consecutive BTCC crown. It would be the ninth major touring car title on his CV, which also includes three European (now World) championships.

The Italian Vauxhall driver said: "I want to be free for me and the crowds at Brands Hatch - it would be really good fun.

"My aim will be to win the title in race one so I can go and play in the other two races.

"I have had to play it a little bit safe and stay out of trouble so far. This could be a chance finally to put on a nice show..."

But Giovanardi, flying in today from his hometown of Modena along with friends who hope to cheer him on to his second BTCC title, does not believe winning the championship in Sunday's first race  is a foregone conclusion.

His Vauxhall Vectra VXR will carry the maximum 45kgs of success ballast in qualifying and race one and, even though last remaining title rival Jason Plato is a long way behind, it is the Briton's SEAT that has been setting the pace of late.

Giovanardi, aged 41, added: "If Jason is as strong as he has been in the last four rounds, particularly in qualifying and race one at least, then maybe I have to wait until race two.

"Sure, I will not relax until the title is won. OK, I have a really good lead and I feel very confident about making it happen, but I will be taking things very seriously, doing a very professional strategy as always to make sure nothing bad happens."

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