GIOVANARDI EXPECTING "REALLY HARD LIFE" IN BRANDS HATCH BTCC TITLE-DECIDER
Fabrizio Giovanardi believes he's in for "a really hard life" at Brands Hatch on Sunday as he attempts to overturn a 13-point deficit to Colin Turkington and win what would be his third British Touring Car Championship title in a row.
Italian Giovanardi is recognised by many as the world's most successful touring car driver thanks to nine major crowns in the last 15 years, including his two BTCC titles in 2007 and 2008.
But on Sunday he faces an almighty task if he is to pip arch rival Turkington who has led the HiQ-backed championship standings since mid-season in June (the pair are pictured above). Furthermore, Giovanardi has to keep an eye on Jason Plato - the driver he beat to the 2007 championship - who is just 15 points behind him in third and also still in with a shot of the title.
Indeed, with three races on Sunday and 15 points awarded for a win, all three drivers know it could swing in anyone's favour at any moment, particularly with so many other driver-car-team combinations capable of mixing up the order.
In addition, the form book in recent rounds suggests that on outright pace Turkington's Team RAC BMW and Plato's Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti have the upper hand on Giovanardi's VX Racing Vauxhall Vectra.
Giovanardi said: "I think I have to take some big risks at Brands Hatch. If I had been closer on points then maybe I could drive tactically but this is not the case now. I am in for a really hard life on Sunday.
"In 2007 with Jason, I had to fight only one. This time it's three drivers and more types of cars and teams are also very fast. But also I think Colin has more pressure. I have nothing to lose so it could be the mind pressure that makes the difference."
Giovanardi believes that Saturday's qualifying session will be the most important of the season - it will decide the starting grid order for race one and effectively shape each driver's results on the day.
The man from Modena added: "Qualifying will be the most important thing. I see a really a hard life for me and for Colin too in this session because our cars are the heaviest with success ballast and others could get in between us.
"The Chevrolet drivers will be in front at this event. They have so much performance and I suspect at Brands they will be in front. If it could just be a fight with me and Colin then it would be simpler.
"Also, I expect the three races to be very tough, with some contact. Every driver wants to show his potential in the last round. The other drivers won't care about the drivers fighting for the championship..."