Giovanardi tops official testing at Brands Hatch

With less than two weeks before the opening rounds of the championship, the teams got in some final testing hoping to find a perfect set up for when the championship returns to Brands Hatch for the season kick off. It was reining double champion...

With less than two weeks before the opening rounds of the championship, the teams got in some final testing hoping to find a perfect set up for when the championship returns to Brands Hatch for the season kick off.

It was reining double champion Fabrizio Giovanardi who topped the timesheets for the day with a stunning lap of 48.836s. This time unofficially beat the lap record which also is the longest standing record within the BTCC, which was Yvan Muller's qualifying record that dates back to when the btcc-spec cars were first introduced back in 2001.

The biggest surprise of the day was from the two BMW Airwaves drivers who finished second and third with Jonathon Adam ahead of Rob Collard, who actually topped the times during the afternoon session. Brands Hatch seems to be a happy hunting ground for the team as they scored podiums in all three races last year and out scoring the rest of the teams this year. They hope to go one better at their home race and this test proves they surely have a car that can do that.

In fourth place was Matt Neal despite a huge gravel moment in the afternoon through paddock Hill, although he emerged out the other end unscathed and went on to set his best time during the afternoon. Another driver to set his best time during the afternoon was Gordon Shedden, who ended up in fifth place.

Next up was Stephen Jelley ahead of Andrew Jordan and last weeks pace setter at Rockingham, Colin Turkington. He spent the day trying a number of settings particularly for the races completing two race distances alone this afternoon.

Harry Vaulkhard finished ninth despite going into the gravel at Druids during the morning. He wasn't the only one to do this though as Liam McMillan also did the same and ended up 14th.

Dave Pinkney was tenth ahead of John George and Tom Chilton who continued to put more miles on his new Ford Focus but despite being only in twelfth, was only a second off the pace.

Teamsunshine.co.uk only had one car running for Martyn Bell, who ended up in thirteenth while Martin Johnson was the final car running in fifteenth.

Not present at the test was neither Jason Hughes, who continues his recovery from knee surgery over the winter but should be on the grid for the opening rounds, or Clyde Valley Racing and their Seat Leon's driven by Adam Jones and Dan Eaves.

The next time the touring cars will be on track will be for the opening rounds of the championship at Brands Hatch, where they will have two free practice sessions on the Saturday before qualifying with the entire racing on the Sunday. Be sure not to miss it.

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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Yvan Muller , Tom Chilton , Dan Eaves , Colin Turkington , Matt Neal , Rob Collard , John George , Jason Hughes , Adam Jones , Gordon Shedden , Andrew Jordan , Harry Vaulkhard , Martin Johnson , Dave Pinkney , Stephen Jelley