TCF BTCC Fans Top 10 Drivers ’00-’09: Number 2

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Taking the second step of the podium and with it the 36 kilos of ballast is a driver who has won 9 Touring Car Titles during his career, starting off with Italian Super Touring Championship in 1992, which he then won again in 1998 and 1999. This driver also won the Spanish Super Touring Championship in 1997, the European Super Touring Cup in 2000, and the European Super Touring Championship in 2001 and 2002 before his back to back BTCC titles in 2007 and 2008. With 32 votes and second overall, it's Fabrizio Giovanardi.

Fabrizio joined Vauxhall for the 2006 season, in the Astra Sport Hatch's second season, and struggled with it as he learnt the tracks. Giovanardi's first BTCC win came at Knockhill, which was also the 100th win for Vauxhall. He took his second win at Brands Hatch, in the third race.

2007 saw Giovanardi take 10 wins in the brand new Vectra, which was quick straight away, and took the first wins for it at Rockingham, which he backed up with another double at Thruxton, in total, Giovanardi won 4 from 6 races at Thruxton in 2007. Even with the 10 wins, the title went down to the wire, securing it with a second place while Jason Plato finished down in fourth.

2008 saw Giovanardi retain the title taking advantage of Seat's early season problems to build up a cushion which he didn't lose, even with the Seat Tdi dominance of the second half of the season. He took one win at Silverstone to back up his 4 wins from the opening 15 races. Luckily for him the gap was needed as he scored 1 point in the Brands Hatch finale.

In 2009 Giovanardi was going for a hat trick. Brands Hatch saw him take a second before failing to score in the other 2 races. He took his first win of the season at Thruxton then didn't win again until the wet race at Croft which saw him make a brave overtaking manoeuvre on James Thompson, around the outside of Sunny In and Sunny Out, Barcroft then completed it on the inside at the start of the Complex. Giovanardi then took another double win at Snetterton, and a second to cut the gap to the Championship leader, Colin Turkington.

By the end of the season he finished 9 points behind the Champion, but lost second to the Chevrolet of Jason Plato, and didn't get to celebrate his last BTCC Race for Vauxhall on the podium as he finished fourth.

Giovanardi will be missed, and so will his car control.

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