After a difficult start to his maiden season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Fabrizio Giovanardi soon showed why he is a multiple touring car champion as he took two wins during 2006 – including the 100th BTCC win for Vauxhall at Knockhill.
For the new season, the Italian has a new car in the shape of the Vectra, which will be the first Super 2000 car to run under the VX Racing banner and appeared in public for the first time during the annual media day held at Rockingham.
Giovanardi posted the quickest time during the only official pre-season test before speaking the Crash.net Radio
Fabrizio, you posted the quickest time during testing on media day, so you must be enjoying life with the new Vectra so far?
Yeah for sure. However I don't care about getting the best lap during testing and practice because it is when we get to qualifying that it matters. I immediately felt like the car was good during pre-season testing in Spain and there was a big difference with the Astra. The car is quicker and the potential of the car should be better so it's a good start.
How does the new car compare to the Astra?
The rules are different so the reaction of the car is different. We have to compare last year against the SEATs. Our car was lower and sometimes faster than them, but with this car we have more consistency during long runs and that is what makes the difference in a race. Last year we would be quick for one or two laps but then we fell away, but this car is fast and consistent and doesn't have the drop off with tyres that the Astra had.
You have a lot of experience with Super 2000 cars from your time with Alfa Romeo, so what have you been able to the team as they have developed the Vectra over the winter?
I think the team has done a really good job over the winter because building a new car is not easy. I tried to give my experience to avoid losing time getting things wrong as I have lots of experience with the brakes, and gearbox and I could tell them what I thought, but the car has been built by the team and I think that they have done a great job.
The Astra wasn't always the easiest car to drive but you picked up two wins with it, so how confident are you heading into 2007 and the first season with the Vectra?
If I look at the last part of 2006, my performance was higher than at the start of the year and I hope to start this season in the same position I ended the last one. I won races and was close to winning others and I think that from the beginning of the new season that I will be fast.