Experienced international campaigners answer the call to TeamVodafone endurance drive Defending endurance champions TeamVodafone have secured the services of internationally-experienced drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi and Marc Hynes to pilot their...
Experienced international campaigners answer the call to TeamVodafone endurance drive
Defending endurance champions TeamVodafone have secured the services of internationally-experienced drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi and Marc Hynes to pilot their second Ford Falcon V8 Supercar in the dual-driver races this year.
Giovanardi has a strong, successful pedigree in touring cars, having tasted immense success in a variety of competitive racing categories after beginning his career in open wheelers and progressing through the ranks before competing in the European Touring Car Championship. With numerous race victories under his belt, he went on to record a hat trick of championship wins in 2000, 2001 and 2002 before moving to the 2005 World Touring Car competition which he finished inside the top 5.
In 2006, Giovanardi joined forces with Triple Eight Race Engineering UK's factory outfit and recorded a number of race wins in his debut season. Last year he returned to the VX Racing team and won his season-long battle with Jason Plato to claim his first British Touring Car Championship crown.
"This is an amazing opportunity for me. I have watched Bathurst on television and had talked with Ian Harrison about coming out to watch the race this year," Giovanardi said, "He gave me a big surprise, telling me I would not only be coming to Bathurst but I would be driving as well."
"It will be my first trip to Australia and I can't wait to get behind the wheel. It is also a new experience for me in touring cars."
Marc Hynes is regarded as one of the most promising British motorsport talents after winning the legendary Masters in Zandvoort and English Formula 3 championship. His impressive performance in Formula 3000 saw him selected as the Formula One test driver for the British American Racing Team in 2001.
After a brief break from competition, Hynes has returned to racing with even more motivation to win. He is currently competing in the world-class Porsche Supercup and eagerly accepted the invitation to drive with the leading endurance outfit at Phillip Island and Bathurst alongside Giovanardi.
Hynes' motorsport achievements extend to a crucial role off-track as well. Amongst others, he has most recently been driver coach for Formula One rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton in his emerging years.
"I am excited and extremely honoured to have been given this opportunity with Triple Eight and TeamVodafone," Hynes said. "Coming from an open wheeler background it is a dream come true for me to be starting my touring car career with one of the best teams in the world."
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will be grasping it with both hands -- who knows what it might lead to."
TeamVodafone Principal, Roland Dane said securing talented drivers was vital to the team's continued success at Bathurst.
"Between them, Fabrizio and Marc share a wealth of talent and their global experience will ensure they take little time to adjust to our touring cars," Dane said. "Both drivers exhibit not only an extremely high level of skill but also proficiency in adapting to new cars and challenges."
"We have one of the sport's best endurance race records in the modern era and intend to once again field two very strong cars in 2008."
"Marc has been in Australia acquainting himself with the team and our Ford Falcons for a few weeks, and Fabrizio is busy defending his BTCC crown back in the UK. We look forward to our first shakedown with both drivers in the coming months."
Giovanardi and Hynes will get their first taste of V8 Supercar track time when TeamVodafone test in August for the L&H 500 at Phillip Island from September 12-14