Italian Fabrizio Giovanardi has won the British Touring Car Championship for Vauxhall for the second year running.
Giovanardi clinched the title despite enduring his worst weekend of the year at the final round at Brands Hatch, taking only a point from three races.
Title rival Jason Plato of Seat failed to capitalise and lost the series runners-up spot to BMW's Matt Jackson.
Giovanardi said: "I have never had such a bad day on the track but still come out feeling delighted."
Giovanardi failed to score points in the first race after damaging his car, did not make the start of race two because of an engine problem and only scored his point in the final race by setting fastest lap.
But Plato, who will be looking for a drive for next season following Seat's decision to quit the BTCC, managed only a retirement, and a fifth and 13th place in the three races as Jackson took two wins and a fourth place.
I was watching this (Obviously, as its the best racing series in the world ) and I thought the Racing was absolutely Cracking, as usual
I wanted Plato to win the championship over Fabrizio, but he was still a worthy winner. Also, to see Matt Jackson end up 2nd in the championship ahead of Colin Turkington, and yet to have Colin Turkington to beat him in the Independants Title, is mind boggling and amazing. Getting Bored of Vauxhall dominating things though, they have good engines, but it was only ever gonna be Fabrizio, Matt Neal and Onslow Cole were just never there.
COME ON TURKINGTON !!!!!!!!! For nxt year, Team RAC for the win
Hopefully That might still run, but without Manufacturer backing obviously. Its been possibly the best and most successful "Stepping-Stone" into the BTCC ever. Look at Rob Huff in the original Championship. hes now in the WTCC!!
Hopefully someone may still run them for another season yet. If not, then LMA Euro Saloons are going to benefit, and anyone with a bit of money, wanting a fast professional Track Car.
The BTCC has been in this situation before though, where there is only one manufacture competing. Its always Vauxhall as well, the only ones to gamble, and keep pumping money into it, so they can be proud of their "Success". Good News though, is that apparently Honda may be returning in the manufacturers, and apparently, another "Rear Wheel Drive" Manufacturer will be joining, so who knows ???
Registered: 24th Nov 2003
The LMA Euro Saloons is a series we are looking in to for next year - the leading Seat in that series was beaten by Neil in the Starion at Pembrey the other week
As for the BTCC, Im not actually sure how VX Racing get away with entering the Vectra
Its the only car in the field that doesnt use an engine based on its prodcution car. All the others, BMW, Seat, Honda etc all use an engine thats based on the production variant, it the Civic Type R uses a 2.0 for road and race, BMW 320i uses a 2.0 for road and race, Seat use a 2.0TDi for road and race, yet Vauxhall use a 2.8 turbo on the road and a 2.0 to race - so how can the Vectra VXR be based on a production model when the engines are different - cant they make a 2.0 that will make their road car quick, and how can they sell a 2.8 Turbo and call it the VXR when its so far, engine wise, from the race car
I also didnt like the Vauxhall team tactics through the season, the most notiable being Tom OC spinning Plato at Knockhill - there was also another plain "punt Plato off" at another track which I cant remember right now. I have no idea why the clerk of the course didnt do anything about this as its an obvious tactic to fire Plato in to the barrier as it could easily have been avoided...
Vauxhall Team Tactics have always been Shite, as have to name a specific person, Matt Neals. Ive always been a fan of the MGs, so ive stuck with the team and m favourite driver, to keep supporting Turkington. Vauxhall and Matt neal have always been the ones to cause accidents in tight situations, and it pretty much nearly always happened to Turkington and Reid in the MGs. If anyone complains, its classed as rubbing. However, if anyone then punts a Vauxhall off, there is a big stewards enquiry, and everyone at Vauxhall calls it cheating and unfair etc....
As for the engine, you are right to an extent. Im guessing theyve somehow found a loophole, seeing as the series runs with BTCC spec cars, and the Super 2000 regulations, with engines no bigger than 2.0L etc etc...
Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Over the past few years, when the cars started getting box arches and looking less like their road counterparts, Ive lost a lot of interest since the days of Cleland, Harvey, Soper, and prolly my fave, smokin' Joe Winkelhock.
I loved it when Volvo tried the Estates, and as the cars have got more production looking again Ive quite latched on to the Diesel Seats this year. First year in the championship, new fuel and a heavy engine I think they have done very well and it will be a shame to see them not try and build on it next year.