Vauxhall has provisionally clinched the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship manufacturers' title for the seventh time in eight years following the penultimate rounds of the season at Silverstone.
Victory for Fabrizio Giovanardi in the second race of the weekend, allied to a further podium for the points leader in race three, means the Triple Eight-run team now leads SEAT by 121 points, with just 81 left to play for on Finals Day at Brands Hatch later this month.
Giovanardi is also well placed to take the drivers' title with an advantage over Jason Plato of 44 points, meaning he needs just nine more to take back-to-back titles.
"I'm very pleased that we have sewn up the manufacturers' title for Vauxhall which is very important for them and for us as well," VX Racing team boss Ian Harrison told Crash.net/I>. “Fabrizio seems to be able to pull a situation like he had in qualifying and turn into quite a reasonable day. He got a win from fifth in race two and managed the tyres and used his experience in race three to get another podium.
"We can't complain about that, he is a man at the top of his game – no question about it."
The title success comes despite the strong form shown by SEAT since the summer break, and Harrison admitted things might had been different had Vauxhall not been able to make the most of its past experience with the Vectra at the start of the year while SEAT was still coming to terms with the Leon TDi.
"In hindsight, we wouldn't be having this discussion if that hadn't happened," he said. "The SEATs are a mean machine and if they had been up to speed at the start of the year, and I don't know the ins and outs of why they weren't, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
"They would probably have won it two weekends ago to be honest with you."