All eyes were on podium-finisher VX Racing's Fabrizio Giovanardi this afternoon in the second race of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) race meeting at Knockhill.
A determined Giovanardi was promoted to sixth on the grid following Tom Onslow-Coles' disqualification from race one, making up two places coming into the first corner.
An intense battle then commenced between the Vauxhall driver and third placed Jason Plato. Giovanardi pulled out all the stops to keep the pressure on his championship rival, taking third place from the SEAT driver through the first corner on lap 11.
Plato slipped further down the field when a determined Gordon Shedden, who had started in 11th position, took fourth position from the SEAT driver through Carlube on the same lap. The Honda Civic driver began an onslaught against Giovanardi whose masterful driving defended his crucial podium position.
Giovanardi's inspirational drive reduced the gap to Plato in the driver's championship to just five points going into the day's third race.
Tom Chilton, starting from 14th position after his first race crash, made an early charge to move into 11th place. Chilton fought hard but narrowly missed out on the final points position, finishing in 11th eventually.
SEAT's Darren Turner took his second win of the day, leading from the start of the race. Colin Turkington was a close second and joined a triumphant Giovanardi on the podium.
The last race of the day will start at 15:20 at Knockhill.
Fabrizio Giovanardi #5
"This was a really hard race but the Vectra was a very good car today.
"I had to push a lot to keep Gordon (Shedden) behind me, but it was a tough fight and clean driving from his side.
"I got the maximum out of the car and was able to pass Jason (Plato), which is so important for the championship."
Tom Chilton #7
"The incident in the first race basically spoilt my second race. Also, we think the engine overheated in race one and I kept loosing power throughout the race. It's a big disappointment."
-credit: vx racing