Defending champion Fabrizio Giovanardi has closed the gap to Colin Turkington in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship standings to 17 points after securing a double victory at Snetterton.

The VX Racing ace went into the weekend lying third in the standings, some 29 points behind Turkington after a mixed start to his campaign, and qualified fifth at the wheel of his Vectra.

A dramatic start to the opening race saw Colin Turkington and Jason Plato collide at the Esses, with Giovanardi then battling past James Thompson at the Bombhole to go second behind team-mate Andrew Jordan. The Italian soon found a way past and duly picked up his third win of the campaign.

That was followed by a dominant lights-to-flag win in the second race before Giovanardi worked his way through to third in the final dramatic race before being promoted to second when James Nash was excluded from the results.

It means Giovanardi has now climbed ahead of team-mate Matt Neal in the standings, having taken twelve points out of Turkington's advantage over the course of the day.

"I've made up ground on Turkington and overtaken Matt in the drivers' championship, so it has been a good weekend for me," he said. "The car is amazing; we've resolved the problems we had earlier in the season with running in hot weather and it's been great to drive all day. In the third race I think we could have taken Turkington if I had had a few more corners. I'm confident for the future now with the improvements we've made.

"[However] Matt and Jason are still in this and there is still a lot of hard racing to be done."