VX RACING ON FRONT ROW AT ROCKINGHAM

VX Racing’s Fabrizio Giovanardi was thwarted in what looked certain to be his first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) pole position today at Rockingham.

The Italian driver led the times throughout the session but in the dying seconds SEAT’s Darren Turner edged Giovanardi into second place by just 0.023s.

Team-mate, Tom Chilton, had a tense session at the Northamptonshire circuit after losing his fastest time half way through. On an in-lap the 22-year-old missed instructions to stop at the weigh bridge, incurring the penalty, and took until the end of the 30-minute session to climb back up to fourth.

Fabrizio Giovanardi
“You know that I am in second and I will never be happy when I am not first. We was everybody on the limit. I think my last lap should be good but I was not so concentrated on the first corner and I made a small mistake.

“Despite this, I feel good and I’m going to make it very hard for anyone to beat me tomorrow.”

Tom Chilton
“That was quite intense; I think I broke a sweat!

“The time I had disqualified was only 0.001s away from third place. What’s frustrating is that on that lap I got held up at the chicane. I’m sure we could have had a one-two if things had gone my way but when I tried doing it again I couldn’t string it together.”

Ian Harrison, Team Principal
“I’m pleased with that. Darren Turner’s car was the same weight as ours, which is encouraging, and our race pace looks quite good for tomorrow.

“This is a great place to watch BTCC. In 2003, the last time we were here, the racing was very close and exciting and I don’t expect it to be any different tomorrow.

“The drivers really need to hang it out in qualifying and that’s what they did. Tom was unlucky but that’s just the way it goes.”

The first of tomorrow's three races will begin at 11.20am.