Second win for Giovanardi as Neal and Plato clash
BTCC News | Sun 4th April 2010Fabrizio Giovanardi made it two wins from two races with a comfortable victory in the second race of the day at Thruxton.
By Matt Lamprell
After his earlier win, Giovanardi started from pole position and his lead was never really threatened during the 16-lap race.
Giovanardi said: "The car was perfect. I was a little bit lucky because there was a fight behind me so I could manage the tyres. We knew the potential for our car this weekend, but we didn't know what the others could do. I'm surprised and I'm delighted."
Jason Plato started alongside Giovanardi on the front row and headed Paul O'Neill off the grid. Mat Jackson started third, but was slow away from the line. The Airwaves BMW driver recovered enough to retain fourth position into the Complex for the first time.
It was soon clear that the battle to watch at the front was between O'Neill and Plato – the Silverline Chevrolet driver was forced to defend hard as O'Neill enjoyed a strong run in the Sunshine.co.uk backed Honda.
Further down the order, a number of the race one casualties started to make good progress. Former teammates Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal worked their way through the pack together. By the halfway point in the race, they were up to sixth and seventh respectively and closing on the back of Alex MacDowall's Cruze.
They passed MacDowall without too much trouble and set their sights on Mat Jackson. By the time they passed the BMW, there were five laps remaining. This was where their joint progress came to an end though – Jordan came into the pits on lap 13 with a puncture on his Pirtek Racing Vectra.
Matt Neal continued to close on the leaders and passed Paul O'Neill, who was still hot on the heels of Jason Plato. Neal's next task was to achieve what O'Neill hadn't been able to and pass Plato.
The Honda driver made a couple of moves on the Chevrolet, before getting a run up Woodham Hill on the penultimate lap. Neal moved to the outside and was almost ahead as they arrived to the chicane. Plato wasn't going to let him go, though and the pair touched as they went into the right-hander. They were both sideways into the chicane, but Neal recovered to claim second position. Plato wasn't quite so lucky and lost third spot to Paul O'Neill.
At the end of the final lap, Giovanardi crossed the line almost 2.5 seconds ahead of Neal, with O'Neill third and Plato fourth. Mat Jackson took fifth for Airwaves BMW ahead of Alex MacDowall in sixth. Phil Glew finished seventh with the BMWs of Kane and Collard eighth and ninth. David Pinkney finished tenth.