BTCC Brands Hatch 2: Second win for Giovanardi

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Fabrizio Giovanardi, Vauxhall, BTCC, Brands Hatch, 2007, 2 | TOCATitle rivals Fabrizio Giovanardi started first and second and finished the same way – but Plato had to charge from the back of the pack after an early collision with Tom Chilton.

With several cars still missing from the first race including Matt Neal and Fiona Leggate there were hopes for a clean second start. Most drivers began on slicks tyres on the damp but drying track.

Those were comprehensively dashed when Tom Onslow-Cole tried to dive between team mate Colin Turkington and Darren Turner at the and the three piled into each other. Only Turkington was able to keep going after attention in the pits.

Martyn Bell, whose first race ended at Druids, got no further than Paddock in the second. But before the first lap had ended Jason Plato collided with his championship rivals team mate Tom Chilton and both went off at Clearways.

Plato kept going but fell to last as Chilton limped into the pits and retirement. Fortunately for Plato the safety car was out on track to bunch the field up.

Behind Giovanardi the pack took a most unusual appearance, with Chris Stockton second (from 11th on the grid) ahead of Gavin Smith, Adam Jones, Erkut Kizilirmak, Matt Allison and Richard Marsh. Gordon Sheddon was eighth ahead of Mat Jackson, with Plato down in 12th.

The race briefly resumed on lap seven but lasted only long enough for Allison to punch his Seat into the barriers at Paddock Hill. Out came the safety car once more.

In the brief period of racing Smith had passed Stockton but he did it just before the start line at the restart, so he was summoned into the pits. Then Jones passed Stockton just before the race was neutralised again.

Lap nine saw the second restart and Plato didn’t waste time moving forward. He moved up to eighth on then sliced past Jackson, Marsh and Kizilirmak on lap ten to run fifth.

He overhauled Stockton on lap 12 to run fourth behind Sheddon. He let Turkington unlap himself then stuck with the BMW driver as he also passed Sheddon. That gave Plato a run at the Honda Civic to take third.

Jones had hung on gamely to Giovanardi’s Vauxhall to begin with, but fell back as the wet tyres at the back of his car began to lose grip. Plato took second from him on lap 23, but could do nothing about the seven second deficit to Giovanardi.

Jones though began to fall back more quickly and with two laps to go he had been caught by Sheddon and Jackson. Jones tried to defend the inside of Paddock Hill on the final lap but Sheddon pushed him off.

Giovanardi was the only driver with a clean and undamaged car by the end of the race, but another second place for Plato limited the damage in the championship battle.

Sheddon took fourth from Jackson with Mike Jordan finishing fifth after starting from the pits, and sixth for Jones was a poor reward for an excellent drive.

Photo: TOCA

Posted on Categories BTCC

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