After losing ground to Colin Turkington in race one, Fabrizio Giovanardi took points out of the championship leader with victory in the second HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Knockhill.
Having started sixth on the grid, the defending champion stormed through the field to the front to secure the win ahead of Mat Jackson and Turkington, who minimised his losses by bringing his Team RAC BMW home to a podium finish.
There was drama before the race even started with Jason Plato pitting at the end of the green flag lap with a misfire that would rule the race one winner out immediately. It effectively handed pole to Gordon Shedden, and the Cartridge World man was able to hold the lead into Duffus Dip for the first time ahead of Jackson, while Jonathan Adam and Giovanardi both got ahead of Turkington who found himself hung out to dry on the outside through Duffus and into Scotsman.
Giovanardi made light work of getting past Adam into third on lap two at the Chicane when the Airwaves man ran slightly wide, and when the Scot did the same on the following lap, it allowed Turkington through into fourth. Further back, Harry Vaulkhard – having run in the points through the first two laps – ran wide at Duffus and then pulled off in the bamboo engineering Chevrolet.
Out front, Shedden was under pressure from Jackson, but the Chevrolet man was also having to contend with Giovanardi behind and the Italian got a better run through Carlube on lap five to take second on the run to the hairpin.
Giovanardi then started to put the pressure on Shedden, but the Scot was able to hold on to the lead until the eighth lap when he locked up at the hairpin and both Giovanardi and Jackson were able to come through – demoting the Cartridge World man down to third.
The Safety Car was then briefly deployed to allow marshals to move a tyre stack that had been knocked onto the circuit at Scotsman, with Giovanardi leading from Jackson, Shedden, Turkington, Adam and Paul O'Neill, with James Thompson and Matt Neal completing the top eight despite starting down the order following problems in race one.
On the restart, Neal took seventh from Thompson as a charge through the field gained momentum while Rob Collard – who had been involved in an incident with Neal in race one – climbed into the points on lap 14 after getting ahead of Tom Chilton's Focus at Duffus.
Shedden was appearing to struggle with his SEAT and on lap 15, he lost third to Turkington at the hairpin, while behind, O'Neill had got ahead of Adam into fifth. Going the wrong way down the order, Adam then lost out to both Neal and Thompson on the following lap.
O'Neill was the next man to get past Shedden on lap 18, with Neal also getting past the SEAT before the end of the lap, with Neal taking less than a lap to then get ahead of O'Neill's sunshine.co.uk Honda into Carlube on lap 19. That move delayed O'Neill and in turn, Shedden, who saw both Thompson and Adam come past going down to the hairpin.
Out front, Giovanardi was leading comfortably from Jackson and Turkington, with Neal soon starting to put some distance between himself and O'Neill. O'Neill in turn slowly edged away from Thompson in sixth.
Indeed, the main focus of attention through the closing laps was on the battle for eighth, with Shedden coming under pressure from Rob Collard until the Airwaves man took the place with a forceful move at the hairpin on lap 22. However, Collard then ran wide at Duffus and was hit by Shedden as he rejoined going into Scotsman, running wide into the gravel and allowing Stephen Jelley, Shedden, Chilton and Andrew Jordan to come through.
At the front, Giovanardi picked up a comfortable win for VX Racing to close the gap slightly to Turkington, who had to settle for third after being unable to make an impression on Jackson's Chevrolet.
A fine drive through the field from Neal was rewarded with fourth ahead of O'Neill and Thompson – who will share the front row for race three after Johnny Herbert drew six from the draw to decide the grid.
Adam took seventh ahead of Jelley and Shedden, while Jordan rounded out the points scorers after getting ahead of Chilton's improving Ford in the closing laps. Collard took twelfth, with Martin Johnson and John George again rounding out the finishers.
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