Fabrizio Giovanardi has hit out at former F1 racer Johnny Herbert after contact between the two in the final race of the weekend at Rockingham saw the defending champion lose ground in the battle for the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship title.
The VX Racing driver had finished ahead of points leader Colin Turkington
in both race one and race two in Northamptonshire to close to within five points of the lead going into the final race of the weekend.
However, that final race saw Giovanardi suffer damage to his Vectra while battling for position with Herbert's Team Dynamics Honda and saw him drop down the order to finish outside the points in eleventh – losing the final points scoring position to Martin Johnson on the run to the line.
With Turkington surviving a coming together with Jason Plato
to finish fourth, the Team RAC driver will now take a 13 point lead into the final three races of the season at Brands Hatch and Giovanardi was far from happy to have seen his weekend 'ruined' by the contact.
“I was clawing back the points in the first two races, and in the third it was looking good, but then Herbert ruined it all,” he said. “He's a guest driver, he's not involved in the championship, so I don't know why he had to smash into me, many times. After that, my car was completely destroyed.
“It is frustrating when it happens like that, but when you lose out like that, to unprofessional driving, it makes it all the more difficult.”
Giovanardi wasn't the innocent party in the shenanigans that hit the final race having earlier run into the rear of Mat Jackson's Racing Silverline Chevrolet. Giovanardi picked up a reprimand and two penalty points on his licence for the incident.