Fabrizio Giovanardi returns to the BTCC with Motorbase
|By Kevin Turner||Tuesday, February 4th 2014, 20:30 GMT|
Double British Touring Car champion Fabrizio Giovanardi will return to the series this season, driving for Motorbase.
The 2007 and 2008 champion has not raced in the BTCC since the first round of 2010, but has committed to a full campaign in one of the Motorbase-built NGTC Ford Focuses.
"I am really looking forward to coming back," said the 47-year-old. "I need to fight for championships and this is the best place to find that.
"I want to come here and try to win another championship; I need to win the third one!"
Giovanardi confirmed that discussions with Motorbase had been ongoing for some time.
"When I stopped racing with Triple Eight I had a chat with [team boss] David Bartrum and we tried to find a deal but there wasn't the condition to do that.
"In 2008 and 2009 I had a big battle with them and Motorbase was one of the teams to beat. After four years I believe they've got good experience and they've grown up.
"They are right at this time to give me the winning chance. I believe straight away that we can be one of the team's fighting for the championship."
After a win-less 2013 season, Bartrum has signed Giovanardi as part of a push to go for the title.
"This is a very important year for us," he said. "This is going to be the one when we really underline the product we've built and Fabrizio is the man to show how it should go.
"I tried to get Fabrizio on board a couple of years ago, we've talked a lot about touring cars, and this year I decided just before Christmas that was the right way to try and go. It was something that [main sponsor] Airwaves wanted; they wanted us to up our game.
"The intentions are the same as last year, the team wants to win. There's a lot of work gone into the car over the winter."
Confirmed 2014 British Touring Car line-up so far: Team Car Drivers Eurotech Honda Civic Andrew Jordan/Martin Depper Honda (Team Dynamics) Civic Tourer Gordon Shedden/Matt Neal MG (Triple Eight) MG6 Jason Plato/Sam Tordoff/Marc Hynes Ciceley Racing Mercedes A-class Adam Morgan Motorbase Performance Ford Focus Fabrizio Giovanardi/TBA/TBA AmD Ford Focus Dave Newsham Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 Rob Austin/TBA Welch Motorsport Proton Gen-2 Dan Welch/Ollie Jackson United Autosports Toyota Avensis James Cole/Glynn Geddie Rotek Racing Audi S3 Robb Holland Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis Simon Belcher Team BMR Vauxhall Insignia Jack Goff Team BMR VW Passat CC Alain Menu/Aron Smith Other expected entries: WSR (BMW 125i M Sport) Speedworks Motorsport (Toyota Avensis) Aiden Moffat Racing (Chevrolet Cruze)