Fabrizio Giovanardi won his sixth race of the 2007 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in round 20. The Vauxhall driver started fifth his ballast-free Vectra proved too pacey for any of his rivals.
Starting from pole position, Gordon Shedden was able to defend from the fast-starting rear wheel drive BMWs of Tom Onslow-Cole and Mat Jackson. Onslow-Cole attempted to go around the outside of Shedden’s Civic at Riches, but it was a move that failed to pay off, as he also lost out to Jackson as the leaders headed through Sear for the first time.
Further down the grid, there was contact in the pack, with Chris Stockton’s Lexus IS200 getting a slight tap from behind, which sent him into the side of Fiona Leggate’s MG ZS. This in turn knocked Leggate into the pit lane barrier, which she bounced up on to. The two cars were left stranded on the track and the safety car was out on track at the end of the first lap to allow the clear up operation to take place.
At the front of the pack, Fabrizio Giovanardi propelled his Vauxhall Vectra past Tom Onslow-Cole and Tom Chilton to go third on the opening lap. As the pack picked up the safety car, Shedden led from Mat Jackson, Giovanardi, Onslow-Cole and Chilton.
The restart came after five laps and it was clear that Giovanardi had his sights set on the two cars in front of him. Mat Jackson made it easy for the Vauxhall driver, running wide onto the grass through the Sear corner. Giovanardi made an attempt to take the lead away from Gordon Shedden at the Esses, but was too far back to make the move stick. However, next time round, Giovanardi’s straight-line speed was enough to take him past the stumpy Civic along the Revett straight. Mat Jackson was next to pass Shedden and Tom Chilton followed the BMW through, but Shedden fought back at the next corner.
After eight laps, Giovanardi led from Jackson and Shedden, who in turn were trailed by Chilton, Plato and Turner. Lap nine saw contact between Plato and Chilton as the SEAT driver looked for a way past at the Esses. It took both drivers off track, but Plato was able to rejoin just inside the top ten.
There was plenty of action still to come in the second half of the race, with Plato climbing back up through the order. There was time for the safety car to make a second visit to the track, this time after Martyn Bell tagged Erkut Kizilirmak and sent the Astra Sport Hatch spinning into the crops on the outside of the second corner.
Race leader Fabrizio Giovanardi saw his 3.2 second lead evaporate, but he saw second placed Gordon Shedden pull into the pits and retire with his Honda Civic stuck in second gear. There were three laps remaining following the second restart, which was time enough for Darren Turner to lose two places. The first of which saw Matt Neal get the better of him at the Esses, and then Turner allowed championship challenging teammate Jason Plato through to third.
At the end of a thrilling race, it was win number six of the season for Fabrizio Giovanardi, with Matt Neal second, despite starting 18th on the grid. Plato was third, dropping six points to Giovanardi and seeing his championship lead cut to 16 points. Turner finished fourth with Mat Jackson fifth. Tom Onslow-Cole scored sixth spot, ahead of Eoin Murray in seventh, Tom Chilton in eight and Colin Turkington in ninth. Motorbase Performance’s Matt Allison completed the top ten.