Vauxhall works driver, Fabrizio Giovanardi, made walking on water look easy this morning as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship contender blitzed rain-drenched conditions at Brands Hatch to take his seventh win of the season.
The VX Racing driver kept his cool during a 40-minute delay, as the stricken cars of ten drivers were recovered after a lap-one incident. On the restart both Giovanardi and team-mate Tom Chilton made light work of championship leader Jason Plato to go through into fourth and fifth places.
After that, Giovanardi simply had to bide his time before first Darren Turner and then Colin Turkington slipped up in the tricky conditions giving him the race lead. Within one lap the six-time touring car champion had built up a two-second cushion, which he maintained until the chequered flag, reducing the points gap between him and Plato to just 10 points.
The conditions got the better of Chilton on lap seven, dropping him down to sixth. The 22-year-old was fighting for third when he was forced onto the gravel, costing him two places.
Race two of the day will start at 13:35 at Brands Hatch this afternoon.
Fabrizio Giovanardi #5
"After the re-start I was asleep for the first three laps and had a shake myself to wake up. After that I was on a roll.
"The Vauxhall Vectra was brilliant in the wet and handled really well."
Tom Chilton #7
"Early on in the race I touched Turkington and then Fabrizio bumped into my car and my engine stalled. I lost power and was back in sixth before I knew it.
"On the last lap I tried to let the car drift down Paddock Hill but I didn't expect Turner to turn left. He caught me out but all is not lost."
BTCC Provisional Round 22 Race Result
1. Fabrizio Giovanadi (Vauxhall Vectra)
2. Jason Plato (SEAT Leon)
3. Darren Turner (SEAT Leon)
4. Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)
5. Tom Onslow-Cole (BMW 320si)
6. Tom Chilton (Vauxhall Vectra)
7. Adam Jones (SEAT Toledo)
8. Gavin Smith (SEAT Leon)
-credit: vx racing