A composed drive from Vauxhall works driver Fabrizio Giovanardi ended in frustration when Tom Onslow-Cole tried the impossible around Knockhill in the first race of today at the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
An inspired overtaking manoeuvre on lap five by the 40-year-old saw him taking fourth place from championship rival, SEAT's Jason Plato, while Plato also lost fifth place to Onslow-Cole (BMW) on lap nine.
Giovanardi was cool under pressure from fifth-placed Onslow-Cole, however, on lap 23 Onslow-Cole performed an over-ambitious move coming into Carlube, which saw the BMW driver pushing Giovanardi's Vauxhall Vectra out on the grass, whilst Plato passed by the Italian to score more points. Despite the high-slide, Giovanardi maintained control of his car and managed to bring it home in seventh position.
Team-mate Tom Chilton, meanwhile, had a good start and was pushing to take sixth from Onslow-Cole's BMW on lap five. An incident with Mike Jordan on lap seven, however, saw the 22-year-old skidding over the grass and hitting the tyre barrier. The resulting damage on his Vauxhall Vectra on both radiator and front splitter forced the young-gun to retire.
The race ended with Plato in his SEAT taking third position from Onlsow-Cole to extend his championship lead to ten points.
Race two of the day will start at 13:10 at Knockhill this afternoon.
Fabrizio Giovanardi #5 "I made such a good race and I don't know why Onslow-Cole just ruined it. He tried to overtake me where it was impossible. It was just stupid.
"I'm playing for the championship and he isn't, so I don't know what he was doing."
Mike Nicholson, VX Racing Operations Manager "It's most unfortunate when young inexperienced drivers such as Onslow-Cole make such mistakes and effectively ruin a good championship battle between Giovanardi and Plato. I hope he has learnt something from his mistake."
-credit: vx racing