VX RACING GIVE A CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING PERFORMANCE Fabrizio Giovanardi celebrating his third position in race two This Sunday's rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Snetterton, Norfolk, saw VX ...
VX RACING GIVE A CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING PERFORMANCE
Fabrizio Giovanardi celebrating his third position in race two
This Sunday's rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Snetterton, Norfolk, saw VX Racing successfully add to their championship leads; manufacturer, driver and team.
The weekend proved challenging for reigning champions VX Racing. The impact of success ballast accumulated was always going to hinder the team's chances of a strong points finish. However, hard work was rewarded, adding points and podiums to their championship challenge.
Following an eventful 30-minute qualifying session on Saturday, which saw all three VX Racing cars leave the track on lap ten; reigning BTCC Driver's Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi earned a fourth place start for race one with his 45 kg success ballast, with team mates Tom Onslow-Cole in sixth, and 36 kg burdened Matt Neal in 11th. Pole position was won by Jason Plato with his SEAT.
Round 16 saw VX Racing rookie Tom Onslow-Cole run a clean, committed race to finish sixth overall. Onslow-Cole remained in contention for the entire race, holding onto the front running pack and making good pace in his VXR Vectra. The race ran under safety car conditions from lap three to lap eight, following a series of incidents within the field.
Team mate Fabrizio Giovanardi finished behind Onslow-Cole in seventh, with Matt Neal taking tenth position. The race was won by SEAT's Jason Plato.
Round 17, the second race of the day saw VX Racing's Giovanardi drive the race of a champion to claim the last position on the podium, third place.
Giovanardi started from seventh on the grid, only to be tapped off by Team Halfords' Tom Chilton in a battle for fifth position on lap four. Giovanardi rejoined the race from the back of the field, and fought for the remaining 16-laps to cross the line in third place. Giovanardi in his VXR Vectra also recorded the fastest lap of the race, with a time of 1:12.248, which was over half a second quicker than his fellow competitors.
Fellow VX Racing driver Matt Neal showed similar fighting spirit in the second race of the day, battling with the pack and holding his line despite scuffles all around him, to finish fifth. Tom Onslow-Cole had an unlucky race which saw him leave the track on lap four, after an incident involving Team Air Cool's Adam Jones. The detour cost Onslow-Cole his top ten position, and he rejoined the back of the field, finally finishing 14th. SEAT's Jason Plato won his second race of the day.
The draw for race three saw Neal and Giovanardi start from fourth and sixth on the grid respectively, with pole position granted to Team Halford's Gordon Sheddon. After a perfect start for all three VXR Vectra's, round 18 proved fast and furious being the only race of the day without an appearance from the safety car.
Giovanardi finished in a fantastic third position in the last race of the day, claiming his second podium of the weekend. Matt Neal drove his best race of the day finishing closely behind Giovanardi in fourth, with VX Racing's newest recruit Tom Onslow-Cole impressing with a sixth place finish from his 14th position start.
Onslow-Cole amazed everyone with his pace as he flew up through the pack to finish with an incredible six championship points and fifth position, his best finish of the weekend. Mat Jackson from BMW Dealer Team UK won the race.
Fabrizio Giovanardi #1
"For me, the weekend has turned out very well, and I think that overall we have achieved some excellent results. There was an element of luck involved along the way, particularly in race three, but the team did such a fantastic job and the cars have been incredibly fast here. My fastest lap of the race in round 17 was a real positive for us all."
Matt Neal #4
"Snetterton has been a tough weekend for us all, and I just felt as though I couldn't get it hooked up this morning. We managed to improve my set-up heading into the last race, which definitely improved my performance, but I am conscious that as a team we just need to be finishing that little bit further up the standings! Having said that, I am pleased to finish the weekend on a solid fourth place and am looking forward to building on that at the next meeting."
Tom Onslow-Cole #10
"The racing was tough out there this morning, but I really felt that we had the pace to keep up with the diesel cars. I'm thrilled that I've scored some good, solid championship points in race one and three, which should hopefully help us to move towards Oulton with confidence and keep our hold on the championship in the second half of the season. Overall I think it was a really mixed weekend for me, and the change in track temperature for race two completely threw my set-up and upset my over steer."