CHAMPIONS CONFIDENT FOR BTCC AT ROCKINGHAM

VX Racing had a fantastic start to the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season at Brands Hatch one week ago, winning two races to begin the defence of both its drivers' and manufacturers' titles.

The team, who is currently leading the BTCC Drivers', Manufacturers' and Teams' standings, returns to Rockingham Motor Speedway this coming weekend, where it secured two race victories with Fabrizio Giovanardi last year.

The Luton-based manufacturer is looking stronger than ever with the new driver additions for 2008, double BTCC Champion Matt Neal and Tom Onslow-Cole. Neal had an encouraging debut for the team, securing a third place podium at Brands Hatch, whilst Onslow-Cole proved his worth early on with two point finishes at the Kent track.

The young star was on his way to secure more points in his debut for VX Racing, but a racing incident, in which the 20-year-old was pushed into the tyre barriers in the third race meant he was only a spectator for the remaining laps.

Qualifying at the Northamptonshire circuit will start at 15:25 on Saturday 12 April with the first of three races at 11:20 on Sunday 13 April.

Fabrizio Giovanardi #1

"I don't want to think about the championship just yet, I'm not superstitious but Plato (SEAT) led the championship from the first race last year and lost it to me in the very last race.

"At the moment I just think about scoring points; if I can win I will, if not I just take the points I can get. I think it is possible we can win again at Rockingham after the great start we had to the season. The Vectra VXR has great potential and is one of the best cars on the grid. I'm very confident about racing at Rockingham."

Matt Neal #4

"I wasn't too sure what to expect from the team and our own pace for Brands Hatch, but the car was very good. It was great to be on the podium, but I want to be fighting for wins. It's tough this year though and it seems the field has moved a lot closer.

"Fabrizio just seems to be able to bring this extra little bit out of the car at the moment and I would put my money on him for winning at Rockingham. For me it's just a case of putting my head down and score as many points for the team as possible; this is my priority at the moment."

Tom Onslow-Cole #10

"I will be absolutely fine for Rockingham following my accident at Brands Hatch and I'm really looking forward to race there again as it bought me my first-ever podium finish last year, so hopefully that will be a good omen.

"The Vectra VXR is a really good car and I left Brands Hatch feeling confident and happy within the team."

Matt Neal followed by team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole in the Vectra VXR

-credit: vxr.co.uk.