Fabrizio Giovanardi admitted it had been a strange weekend at Brands Hatch after securing the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship on his worst weekend – points wise – since joining the series back in 2006.
The Italian failed to finish in the points in any of the three races, with his only point on Finals Day coming courtesy of setting the fastest lap in the final race of the campaign.
The weekend marked the first time Giovanardi had failed to finish a race inside the points since Donington Park last year but he still managed to secure back-to-back titles after race one with Jason Plato failed to score the points needed to keep the title race alive.
Giovanardi had managed to only finish 14th in that race after a trip through the Paddock Hill Bend gravel trap and then missed race two altogether following an engine problem on his Vectra.
From the back of the grid in race three, the newly crowned double champion managed to climb into the points before he ran wide on oil dropped by Martyn Bell and eventually finished down in eleventh place.
"It's been a very strange weekend and we couldn't have bet on this," he reflected to Crash.net
. "Coming here we thought we could score nine points easily as even on my worst weekend we scored something like 23 points. I was lucky that the SEAT wasn't as fast as it was before. If I look back now, scoring one point, I could have lost the championship with a 44 point lead!
"I felt at the beginning [of the season] that it would be tough with more competitors. From half-way to now, we have seen a lot of teams grow up. The BMW is strong, the Honda is strong, the SEAT was amazingly strong. The diesel won't run here now but we can't afford to sleep on the title, we have to work hard during the winter to make the car stronger."
Whether or not Giovanardi will renew his rivalry with Plato again next season is dependent on the now former SEAT driver securing a seat, but Giovanardi said he was hopeful that the 2001 champion will again be on the grid.
"I don't want to say he won't be here as I'm sure he will find a good car as many teams could have him," he said. "They would be proud if Jason was driving one of the stronger cars. I'm sure he will be here again fighting."