Vauxhall secured another two titles as it brought the curtain down on its time in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch.
While Fabrizio Giovanardi
failed to make it three drivers' titles in a row, the team successfully secured the manufacturers'/constructors' championship as well as the teams' crown as it bowed out of the series after 20 years.
Those 20 years have seen the Luton-based manufacturer wrack up numerous titles and while the team could have taken a clean sweep in 2009, Vauxhall's Mike Nicholson admitted that rival Turkington had been a worthy winner.
“We'd have loved to have had a clean sweep,” he told Crash.net
. “We came close and it was a fantastic final race that could have gone one of three ways.
“As it happens, Colin won it and deservedly so as he has driven brilliantly this year and has really matured. He has been more defensive when he needed to be, has attacked when he needed to and like all champions, you have some luck on your side. When Fabrizio won the title last season, he had the rub of the green sometimes and Colin had it this year and when that starts to happen, it usually means it will be their title.
“I know we came close to it, but I thought it was Colin's from about three meetings ago.”
Vauxhall's time in the BTCC coincided with the launch of the successful VXR range, and Nicholson added that the company's motorsport activities had had a large bearing on the success of the range.
“There is little doubt that this championship has done wonders for Vauxhall and I think Vauxhall has done wonders for the championship,” he said. “We have supported it through thick and thin and right now, we have a fantastic VXR range and they need the backing of a race series.
“The BTCC has put VXR on the map, they are a fantastic range of cars and the people who are enthusiastic about motorsport are the kind of people who get enthusiastic about the VXR range. But the economics dictate that we can't come back next year but fingers crossed, you never know, for 2011 we might come back. I'm not saying that from any inside knowledge but I'm just keeping my fingers crossed – especially for the team.”
As well as a display of Vauxhall's BTCC cars from through the years, the Brands Hatch season finale also saw the first public appearance of the new Vauxhall Astra.