Two days after dominating proceedings at Snetterton and less than two weeks before the British Touring Car Championship makes its annual pilgrimage to Knockhill on August 15/16, double champ Fabrizio Giovanardi paid a flying visit to the Fife track to give some demonstration laps in a Vauxhall Astra VXR. The suave Italian also took time out to speak with Jim McGill.
JM: Could Snetterton have been any better?
FG: Yeh, I could have had three wins instead of two wins and a second. The car is coming good just at the right time for me and Vauxhall.
JM: Did you expect to score more points before the mid-season break?
FG: For sure. We had a few problems with the hot weather and a couple of wins got away from us. But it was always important to keep going in the hope the results would start coming our way.
JM: What did you do during the summer break?
FG: I was in Italy with my family, relaxing and having fun.
JM: Who will be your main rivals at Knockhill?
FG: The usual guys. Colin Turkington will be fast in his BMW, and of course I’ll have to look out for my Vauxhall team-mate Matt Neal. The Chevy of Jason Plato is also likely to be as fast as ever, and local guys like Jonathan Adam and Gordon Shedden will be hoping to put one over me in front of their home support. But i’m sure I can take care of them all.
JM: What are the main challenges of Knockhill?
FG: It’s a really testing circuit which demands a style of driving you don’t use on any of the other circuits in Britain. In that way it’s unique. You really do have to concentrate 100% all the time because each lap is so short. It’s important you adapt your driving style to suit the track. But it’s great fun.
JM: You’ve a great rivalry with Jason Plato. Is that just for the TV cameras?
FG: No. He’s a tough opponent and i have nothing but total respect for him. Sure we’ve had our fall-outs in the past, but he knows not to mess with me now.
JM: What would you like to achieve at Knockhill next weekend?
FG: Pole position; three wins and the fastest lap. Not much really. Oh … and to be leading the championship when I leave to get the flight back to Italy.
JM: Thanks Fabrizio.
FG: No problem.