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Fabrizio Giovanardi doubles up at Thruxton

Fabrizio Giovanardi added to his earlier win in race one by making it two out of two at Thruxton. The Italian superstar led home Matt Neal and Paul O’Neill in a close race that saw 19 out of the 20 cars make it to the flag.

From pole position Giovanardi made an excellent start to build up a lead over Jason Plato, who was unable to challenge the UNIQ Racing driver. Plato himself was looking strong for second position until he was caught by Neal. As the Honda driver attempted to pass, Plato locked up and made contact, spinning down to fourth.

Click here to view the full race results.

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Neal, who finished in second, drove a superb race from twelfth on the grid. He made up four places on the opening lap, before working his way up to fifth by lap 9. At the complexhe managed to pass Mat Jackson cleanly and easily caught up to O’Neill and Plato in front of him before passing them both.

An ecstatic Paul O’Neill finished in third to add to his earlier point haul which now puts him in third in the championship standings – his best ever start to a BTCC season. “What can I say – it’s unbelievable,” said O’Neill to “We know the Integra is fast around here and expected good things… but not this good!”

Fourth-placed Plato admitted that the incident with Neal was just a racing incident and that he did not blame the double champion. “Matt was faster than me,” said Plato to “I tried to hold him off by forcing him to go around the outside but that didn’t work. I lost the rear of the car and we were so close some contact was inevitable.”

Mat Jackson finished in a strong fifth place, whilst BTCC newcomer Alex MacDowall this time got the better of Phil Glew, who finished sixth, after the two clio cup rivals from last year finished the other way around in the previous race.

Steven Kane had a markedly better race than in race one where he was sidelined due to driveshaft problems. He battled through the field from 18th to finish in eighth, meaning a double points finish for Airwaves BMW. Fellow BMW and former Motorbase driver Rob Collard finished in ninth and will start the final race of the day from pole position after being randomly selected bythe reverse grid draw.

Finishing in the final points paying position was David Pinkney. Drivers who had issues during the race included Tom Boardman who was running in fifth until running wide onto the grass at Goodwood on lap 7. He ended up finishing in 16th position.

The only retirement of the race was Tom Chilton who reported a vibration at the front of his car.

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