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BTCC Update: CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY FOR 2007

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  • BTCC Update: CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY FOR 2007

    Vauxhall has announced it will be running a two-car team in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship next year.

    After post-season negotiations, the Luton-based manufacturer has re-secured the services of Italian touring car legend, Fabrizio Giovanardi, and the championship’s youngest-ever race winner, Tom Chilton to spearhead the 2007 campaign.

    “Choosing the drivers is a joint decision between all the parties involved,” said VX Racing Team Principal, Ian Harrison. “One of the things we felt we missed this year was continuity. Changing the whole team cost us at the start of the season; you can see from the points spread. I think Fabrizio scored 42% of his points total in the last three rounds. We didn’t want to go through that again.

    “Fabrizio, in particular, has had to adapt to everything. If it wasn’t the food, it was the language. He had to buy a SatNav just to find his way from the airport to the circuit – I think that says it all. Despite all that he was right on the money in the last four races.”

    Vauxhall decided to change its three-car format for 2007 after a rule change last year meant only two could score. The modification made it necessary to nominate two drivers to score points, a gamble which often back-fired in 2006.

    “I’m looking forward to next year,” said Harrison. “We’ve got a bloody great mountain to climb with the new cars to build and the new regulations, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure this line-up can deliver."

    FABRIZIO GIOVANARDI
    “I have gelled with the team. We work really good – that’s why I signed again with them. I think VX Racing is a really good team. They can build everything on the car quite quickly. Their potential is big. I’m very confident in them.

    “There will be lots of advantages next year. We can transport my experience of the new [Super2000] rules from my time in the WTCC. From the beginning, I will try to explain what is better for our car to avoid losing time.

    “Now my mind will be on the car not on the language or the circuits. If you see my performance on the circuits like Silverstone and Donington, when I was there before, it was much better."

    TOM CHILTON
    “2006 was a year of big change, with everybody trying to get to know each other. You can try and rush these things, but it never really happens until the second year anyway. Now, I feel I’ve got a really good bond with the team.

    “There will be no mucking around in 2007. When we go out testing we’ll be communicating clearly and working like clockwork.

    “I’d like to say it’s a dead cert that I’ll get my first win for the team – we’re all capable of it and we’ve all done it before lots of times. At the end of 2006 I really felt comfortable with the team and the car.”
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