Double champ Fabrizio Giovanardi grabbed pole position for tomorrow’s opening race in the British Touring Car Championship triple-header at Thruxton despite his Vauxhall being almost destroyed in today’s testing.
The Italian, who edged out his championship rival and team-mate Matt Neal by 0.320secs on the 2.36-mile circuit, had earlier been involved in a high-speed collision with Stephen Jelley’s BMW.
“I’ve got to pay tribute to my mechanics,” Giovanardi, whose fastest lap of of 1min 17.985secs gave him only his second BTCC pole, the first having come at the same circuit two years ago. said.
“Immediately after the smash I doubted whether I’d actually be able to take part in qualifying, so the least I could do to thank the guys was to plonk it on pole.”
Neal meanwhile, who leads the championship by six points from the RAC BMW of former Knockhill race instructor Colin Turkington, was carrying 45kg of success weight compared to Giovanardi’s ballast-free car.
Fifer Jonathan Adam, who finished second at the opening meeting at Brands Hatch three weeks ago in his BMW and enters the weekend fifth in the championship, could only manage 11th-quickest.
“That was frustrating,” the 24-year-old from Kirkcaldy, who outqualified his team-mate Rob Collard by one place, admitted.