RACE WINS FOR GIOVANARDI & SERIES LEADER TURKINGTON AT SNETTERTON Italian Fabrizio Giovanardi and Northern Irishman Colin Turkington shared the race wins in today's three HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the Snetterton circuit...
RACE WINS FOR GIOVANARDI & SERIES LEADER TURKINGTON AT SNETTERTON
Italian Fabrizio Giovanardi and Northern Irishman Colin Turkington shared the race wins in today's three HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk. Turkington, who inherited his victory in race three after provisional winner James Nash was excluded from the results, continues to lead the table as the title race now heads to Scotland for its next round at the Knockhill circuit in Fife (Sunday 16 August).
Italian Giovanardi won the day's first two races in his VX Racing Vauxhall Vectra to move past team-mate Matt Neal into second in the standings and close to within 14 points of Turkington who had arrived at Snetterton holding a 25-point lead.
Turkington finished races one and two in fifth and second places but had been lucky to get away with a spin in the first - caused by a clash with Jason Plato as they fought for the lead. With Giovanardi eating into his lead he really needed to finish in front of the man from Modena in race three and this he did, crossing the line in second with Giovanardi behind in third.
But Nash's exclusion then elevated Turkington to first - his sixth win of the season - and means he leaves East Anglia with his lead back out to 17 points ahead of reigning Champion Giovanardi. Neal and Plato remain third and fourth but have lost touch slightly thanks to a dismal day for each. Plato in particular had all looked set for a big points haul after heading Saturday's qualifying session, but instead came away with just one third place finish to show for his efforts.
Turkington said: "I'm really happy with my results today particularly considering I had a spin in race one and I never quite perfected the balance of my car. But I think it's too early to call it a two-horse race between Fabrizio and myself. Sure, we've broken away slightly but it can turn around so quickly. Just think if I'd not recovered from that spin in race one - there could have been a very different look at the top of the championship tonight."
Giovanardi, chasing a third consecutive Drivers' title in 2009, added: "Colin is right. Matt and Jason are still in this and there is still a lot of hard racing to be done. But I am very happy today. We discovered a problem with our car in the previous round before the summer mid-season break and we've started to make improvements again. I'm always motivated, but now I am really motivated!"
Elsewhere, Vauxhall/VX Racing has moved further ahead in the BTCC's Manufacturers/Constructors Championship as has VXR in the outright Teams' standings. Turkington and his Team RAC squad are also edging further ahead of their rivals in the Independent Drivers' and Teams' trophies respectively.