Former Double European and British Touring Car Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi will contest the European Touring Car Cup at Salzburgring for the Hartmann Racing team.
The Danish Hartmann team have won the previous two ETC Cup titles with James Thompson in a Honda Accord S2000. With Thompson having moved onto the Polestar Volvo squad for 2011's Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, the squad have signed Giovanardi to lead their attack for the event on 24th July.
Giovanardi will be joined by the Austrian driver Wolfgang Treml in the team. Treml contested two rounds of last year's ETC Cup with Hartmann.
Giovanardi has previous experience of the Honda Accord, having raced it for JAS Motorsport in the World Touring Car Championship at Curitiba and Macau in 2006.
It will be the Italian's first appearance in the ETC Cup, where he will aim to regain the European crown that he won in 2001 and 2002.
“We are definitley aiming for winning the title again,” said Giovanardi. “The team have the expertise and the car has the potential. Now it's a matter of how quick we will work to adapt the car to my driving style.
“The last time I drove a Honda Accord was at Macau in the 2006 WTCC and we will have only three test sessions at Salzburg to find a good set-up. In any case I see this opportunity to show that I am still able to be competitive at an international level.”
Team principal Hans Hartmann Petersen commented: “Winning the European Cup for the third consecutive time will not be easy, because every year the competition is stronger. We are very motivated; both cars have new engines and we have a strong team.
“Giovanardi is an experienced and fast driver, while Treml is very consistent as it was proved last year by his fourth place. All in all we have everything we need to reach this ambitious target.”