Fabrizio Giovanardi wins European Touring Car Cup at Salzburgring
|By Jamie O'Leary||Monday, July 25th 2011, 09:32 GMT|
Fabrizio Giovanardi added yet another title to his trophy collection by winning the European Touring Car Cup at the Salzburgring.
The tin-top veteran, who signed for the Danish Hartmann Honda squad the week before the event, took pole position in poor weather and led the entirety of the first race to win from teenager Pepe Oriola, despite his windscreen wiper breaking during the early stages.
Despite World Touring Car Championship regular Oriola trying everything he could to pass Giovanardi, the Honda was not to be beaten.
Oriola did take the race two spoils after starting ahead of Giovanardi on the reversed grid, meaning that each driver had scored 18 points from the two races. However, Giovanardi's three-point bonus for pole (against Oriola's two for his front row spot) gave the title to the Italian.
"After the problems we had in the first race, I was very worried that the gearbox could break in the second. And instead, everything worked fine," said Giovanardi.
It was the third year in a row in which a Hartmann driver had won the ETCC after James Thompson's titles in 2009 and '10. Giovanardi now has a European Cup to add to his three European Championship wins, two British and Italian crowns and a solitary Spanish success.
Tomas Engstrom, Wolfgang Treml, Mehdi Bennani and Peter Rikli completed the top six in the points.
Alexandar Tosic won the Super Production category in his Honda Civic while Mini driver Thomas Muhlenz took the S1600 class - becoming the first man to win an FIA circuit racing title at the wheel of an LPG-powered car.