Following a recent testing session at Monza where he sampled the car, Fabrizio Giovanardi has been confirmed to drive an Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR for Mulsanne Racing in the 2018 World Touring Car Cup.
The deal will reunite an iconic touring car partnership, as Giovanardi has won the Spanish, Italian and European championships behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo in the past.
However, British fans will perhaps remember Giovanardi the most for his stunning performances with Vauxhall en route to winning the BTCC title twice, and it was in the British championship where he last completed a full season.
Since leaving Motorbase Performance at the end of 2014, Giovanardi hadn’t raced full-time in any discipline up to this point.
That said, during the 2017 TCR Italy season, the touring car legend got back into the thick of the action through a one-off appearance for BF Motorsport.
There, he was able to sample their TCR-spec SEAT Leon, and as pre-season testing with Mulsanne Racing is already underway, Giovanardi shouldn’t be too ring-rusty heading into the 2018 campaign.
In his official statement, Giovanardi said, “I wish to thank everybody at Romeo Ferraris [the engineering firm behind the Giulietta TCR] who have made possible the 2018 season.
“I had the pleasure of driving the car very recently, and I was very impressed. For me, it will be a comeback on the world stage after a few years out of racing, but my passion and hunger for victory are intact.
“At Monza, I had the chance to start a journey that hopefully will bring a lot of satisfaction for those involved in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR by Romeo Ferraris project.”
Romeo Ferraris’ Operations Manager, Michela Cerruti, was glad to have the experience of Giovanardi within the team, “To have Fabrizio with us in such an important venture [and] is a crucial element of our programme.
“Racing at the highest level in 2018 represents a big step forward for our organisation and for Team Mulsanne, who will be competing against many prestigious brands and teams.
“We have progressed with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR by Romeo Ferraris, and the positive feedback received from Fabrizio at the test in Monza has made possible what at the beginning was only a dream.
“Still, we do not live in Wonderland and we know we’ll have to perform at 100 percent to be competitive in such a top series as WTCR.”
Last year, the team (then running under the GE-Force banner) claimed three race victories with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR.
Davit Kajaia and Dusan Borkovic were the men behind the wheel, but with the latter confirming his move to the TCR Europe Series and Kajaia not yet re-signed with the team, the second seat alongside Giovanardi remains up for grabs.