Fabrizio Giovanardi and Jason Plato have admitted that experience has been a key reason why the pair head to Finals Day this weekend as the two drivers still in contention for the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.
VX Racing ace Giovanardi and SEAT Sport UK man Jason Plato are two of the oldest drivers on the grid and head to the final rounds out front in the title race despite a number of up and coming youngsters – such as Mat Jackson, Colin Turkington and Adam Jones – having taken starring roles during the 2008 campaign.
Should Giovanardi secure the BTCC title for a second successive season, it will be added to an impressive resume that already includes eight major titles and he admitted that his previous experience had been key to ensuring he has been right at the sharp end during the year.
"We are quite old, me maybe a bit older!” the 41-year-old said. “But we have good experience of the latest Super 2000 specification cars and touring cars in general - we have been racing them for more than a decade - and in the end this makes a difference.
"It can be car set-up, development, knowing how to react to different pressures or situations on the circuit, how to come back at a driver, sensing what might be about to happen and so on. All these things make the difference in the end."
Plato is one of the most successful drivers in BTCC history, with 46 wins since making his debut back in 1997, and he agreed with his man rival that experience would always hold the upper hand over youth.
"If you look at any top touring car championship around the world it's the guys who have the experience that have been there, done it and who are the ones who consistently flick the switch and deliver the goods,” he said. "It's very tough for young guys to come in and have our jobs. We're wily old foxes."