Reigning BTCC Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi racing his Vectra VXR at Brands Hatch today. VX Racing's Matt Neal put in a stunning performance in the last race of the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, Kent, today, ...
Reigning BTCC Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi racing his Vectra VXR at Brands Hatch today.
VX Racing's Matt Neal put in a stunning performance in the last race of the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, Kent, today, securing his first podium in his debut weekend for the team.
Neal, starting from third on the grid, headed team-mates Tom Onslow-Cole (fourth) and reigning BTCC Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi in ninth into the first corner.
After a clean start, a racing incident involving SEAT's Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic) on Graham Hill Bend ended with the unfortunate demise of Onslow-Cole in his Vectra VXR. The accident resulted in a heavy impact into the barriers, ending the VX Racing's driver's race with only half of the first lap completed.
With debris on the track following the incident the safety car was deployed, staying on the circuit until the green flag appeared on lap eight.
The race continued with great battles, with Neal withstanding heavy pressure from Plato's SEAT Leon TDi. The VX Racing driver kept a clear head to take home a third place for the team.
Giovanardi meanwhile fought off his old team-mate Tom Chilton in the Honda Civic, to finish in a solid sixth position to complete a successful start to his season following two race victories earlier in the day.
Matt Neal #4
"I'm very glad to be on the podium and even happier that Tom [Onslow-Cole] is ok. I could just see the accident in my mirrors and it was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"After a tough first two races it's great to finish third, particularly after the difficult circumstances of my team-mate's accident."
Tom Onslow-Cole #10
"I was an innocent bystander, Gordon [Shedden] had the racing line and the SEAT pushed into him causing me to crash. It's just one of those things.
"I'm feeling a bit sore but I'm ok. Overall it's been a good weekend and I'm feeling quite comfortable in the team now. We found a lot of pace in the car and it's looking good for the rest of the season."
Fabrizio Giovanardi #1
"I'm very happy with the weekend, but the success ballast made the third race very difficult. I expected to be faster through the race but I'm happy to finish in sixth.
"The next stop is Rockingham and I'm looking forward to race again to extend my championship lead."