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Vauxhall quickest in first official BTCC test

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  • Vauxhall quickest in first official BTCC test


    VX Racing’s Fabrizio Giovanardi topped the times in today’s first official Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship test session of 2007.

    Vauxhall spent the winter developing a new race car, the Vectra Hatchback, to comply with the BTCC’s S2000 regulations. Rockingham Raceway today saw the result with Giovanardi, a multiple European Touring Car Champion, leading from start to finish with a best time of 1m24.806s after 58 laps.

    Team-mate, Tom Chilton, finished sixth after spending the afternoon working on race set-up and development in today’s perfect weather conditions, which saw him complete 64 laps at the Northants circuit.

    The team will now head to the next test at Valencia, Spain, to complete the final preparations for the season opener at Brands Hatch, which will take place on 1 April 2007.

    Fabrizio Giovanardi "I immediately felt it was a good car in the pre-season testing and a big difference compared to the Astra. The team thinks the potential of this car is much better because of its consistency on long runs; that can make the difference and this car is both fast and consistent.

    "The team has done a really good job over the winter; to make a new car is not so easy. I tried to transport my experience and I think we’ve worked well together.

    "As for my ambitions this year, if I look at the later part of last season, my performance was better and I hope to start in the same position. I hope to win and I think from the beginning we will be fast."

    Tom Chilton "We are only in the basic stages of setting the car up and there is so much more to come. One of the most encouraging things is the tyre wear. The independent wish bone suspension has made a real difference and I’m very happy with how well the testing programme went today."

    Ian Harrison, VX Racing Team Principal "We are still doing our testing programme and there’s a lot of things we haven’t had a chance to play with yet. It’s early days and we are definitely at the right end but we still have no idea where we are in relation to everybody else. All we can do is concentrate on what we are doing and make sure the car is as quick as we can make it.

    "Somebody like Fabrizio is a class act. You give him ten laps and you have to expect him to get to grips with it. Tom hasn’t had as much time in the car over the winter but we’ve got another big test next week.

    "This is the first time we’ve tested on a circuit we are going to race on. We’ll have to crunch numbers tomorrow and see where we are in terms of tyre wear but it's looking good."
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