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VX Racing: Brands Hatch Qualifying

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  • VX Racing: Brands Hatch Qualifying


    Launching a new car in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is no mean feat but VX Racing seems to be on the right lines with the new Vectra, which qualified on the second and third rows at Brands Hatch today.

    The introduction of S2000 rules for 2007, as used in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, prompted Vauxhall to switch from last year’s Astra Sport Hatch to the Vectra, a S2000 pioneer.

    Today the gamble proved a sound choice when only well-established S2000 runners out-qualified the prototype.

    Fabrizio Giovanardi was the first of Vauxhall’s works drivers, qualifying fourth and marginally ahead of team-mate Tom Chilton in fifth. Both drivers and the team are up-beat about the car’s prospects for tomorrow’s racing at the Kent circuit.

    Fabrizio Giovanardi:
    “We had some young problems, when the car is too young, but it’s OK. The qualifying is not so bad. The set-up was good but I was not 100 per cent perfect. I have not got a big problem, just little ones.

    “It’s quite easy to see that SEAT is the big opponent that we have to fight on because they are running in World Touring Cars and they have a lot of miles on that car. We also know the potential of the BMW from WTCC.”

    Tom Chilton:
    “Around this circuit you need a lot of over-steer and this car has just got too much grip! But in general, because this car is brand new, I think it looks quite good.”

    Mike Nicholson, Operations Manager:
    “There were a few little niggles during qualifying. The car’s not quite 100 per cent but it’s nothing major, just enough to knock off one tenth-of-a-second.

    “I think it’s a very good effort to be a couple of hundredths behind the SEATS. Theirs is not a new car and this is our first real test to see where we are and we’re happy.”

    BTCC Qualifying Round One
    1. Colin Turkington (BMW 320si) 49.532s
    2. Jason Plato (SEAT Leon) +0.016s
    3. Darren Turner (SEAT Leon) +0.120s
    4. Fabrizio Giovanardi (Vauxhall Vectra) +0.155s
    5. Tom Chilton (Vauxhall Vectra) +0.204

    Round one of the 2007 BTCC is tomorrow (Sunday) at 11.30am

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