Brands Hatch will be the scene of major drama this weekend, as VX Racing's Fabrizio Giovanardi continues to hunt down his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) rival, Jason Plato.

At the last round the Vauxhall Vectra driver cut Plato's Driver Championship lead to just 14 points around the high-speed Norfolk circuit of Snetterton, causing a crescendo of tension as the series enters its closing stages with just three race meetings to go.

Brands Hatch has already staged one round of the BTCC this year with the Vauxhall works team securing two podiums. The team is confident, however, that VX Racing's performance at the season opener can be surpassed this weekend.

Giovanardi's team-mate, Tom Chilton, is now focusing on securing Vauxhall's seventh BTCC Manufacturer Championship and supporting Giovanardi in his bid to become champion. Chilton, who holds the record as the youngest-ever driver to win a BTCC race, should have plenty of hints and tips to give his Italian team-mate, as Brands Hatch is his home circuit.

Qualifying at the Kent track will begin at 15:25 on Saturday, 18 August 2007, with the first of three races starting at 11:20 on Sunday, 19 August 2007.

Fabrizio Giovanardi #5

"I've only raced at Brands five times but I've already scored one podium and a win, which shows I really like the track. It's difficult to find the right set-up for the car, though, because of the way the circuit is laid out. You have one fast corner followed by a slow one and every part of the circuit is challenging.

"The Vectra is such a great car and I really can't wait to get behind the wheel again after the three-week break. We had such exciting races at Snetterton and my on-track fights with Jason Plato really brought some fire into the championship. I hope we start at Brands Hatch where we finished at Snetterton!"

Tom Chilton #7

"It's been incredible how much the car has come on since the last time we raced at Brands Hatch. Nearly everything on the car is different now and we have improved by a big step.

"It will be interesting to see whether the lap times will be quicker than in the race at the beginning of the season as all the teams have moved forward and improved the cars."

Stuart Harris, VXR Brand Manager

"The season is now going into its final stages and it's getting really nerve-racking. The team got such a boost when Fabrizio (Giovanardi) was able to cut the point-gap to Plato right down and there's a real air of optimism in the garage now.

"With nine races left this season, anything can happen."

-credit: vxr