BTCC - round 2 get ready

Dramatic racing is expected at the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s (BTCC) next outing at Rockingham Motor Speedway this weekend, a circuit which possibly offers more overtaking opportunities for the cars than any other in the UK.

BTCC’s first meeting at Brands Hatch three weeks ago brought two podium finishes for Vauxhall, the Luton-based manufacturer with Tom Chilton third in race two and Fabrizio Giovanardi reaching the second podium step in race three.

This weekend’s round at Rockingham is the first at the Northamptonshire-venue since 2003. Last time round, the team had two podiums with Frenchman Yvan Muller taking victory in race two to conclude a successful weekend.

In the BTCC’s official testing session at Rockingham on 23 March, VX Racing showed competitive times with the all-new Vauxhall Vectra. Giovanardi topped the time sheets overall and team-mate Chilton finished in a respectable sixth position.

Tom Chilton : “I was 18-years-old when I last raced at Rockingham in 2003 and I did fairly well, finishing fourth in one race. We are currently leading the manufacturers championship even though we were still in the development stages at Brands Hatch. I think this weekend we will hit the nail on the head.”

Fabrizio Giovanardi : “Brands Hatch showed the performance of the car and I think we were quick enough to win in race one if I hadn’t had the incident with the SEAT. We were very competitive in race three but it wasn’t meant to be my day for a victory. I am looking forward to Rockingham as I think we will be very strong.”

Stuart Harris : VX Racing Brand Manager - “We had some fantastic racing at Rockingham last time we were there. Although all the teams have new cars, everyone is looking forward to it, as I am sure it’s going to be very close again.”

BTCC 2007 calendar
1. Brands Hatch - Apr 01 2007
2. Rockingham - Apr 22 2007
3. Thruxton - May 06 2007
4. Croft - Jun 03 2007
5. Oulton Park - Jun 24 2007
6. Donington Park - Jul 15 2007
7. Snetterton - Jul 29 2007
8. Brands Hatch - Aug 19 2007
9. Knockhill - Sep 02 2007
10. Thruxton - Oct 14 2007

Since first entering the BTCC in 1989, Vauxhall’s works team has won 16 titles:

Six Drivers Championships (2004 James Thompson, 2003 Yvan Muller, 2002 James Thompson, 2001 Jason Plato, 1995 John Cleland, 1989 John Cleland)
Six Manufacturers Championships (2005 VXR Astra Sport Hatch, 2004 Astra Coup?, 2003 Astra Coup?, 2002 Astra Coupe, 2001 Astra Coupe, 1992 Cavalier GSi)
Four Team Titles (2004, 2003, 2002, 2001