Fabrizio Giovanardi will look to bounce back from a tough start to the defence of his HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship title as the series heads to Thruxton this weekend for the second round of the year.

The Italian picked up a podium finish from race one at Brands Hatch, but then ran into problems in both race two and race three to sit down in seventh place in the standings - 26 points behind team-mate Matt Neal.

With the VX Racing Vectra having been strong at Thruxton in the past - indeed Giovanardi took his first title there in 2007 - the Italian said he was hopeful of a strong weekend in Hampshire as he looks to make up for ground lost during the first rounds of the campaign.

"Thruxton is a complete contrast to Brands Hatch as it is so fast and flowing," he said. "It is like a ring, very fast and wide, but I really enjoy those characteristics. I expect to be fast this weekend because the track suits the Vauxhall and I am running no success ballast.

"The aim is definitely to go for pole and then the wins. I need to rescue points after not scoring very well at Brands Hatch, there is a long season ahead but I know I'm in for a tough fight against my team-mates.

"Tyre wear is a very important factor for us this weekend. Last year I blew a tyre in the race because the wear rate is so high. We will work hard during the practice sessions to find a set up which will use the tyres well and save them as much as possible. Hopefully we will then be in a good position to take the wins."