Giovanardi flies in Brands Hatch test

Fabrizio Giovanardi blitzed the Brands Hatch lap record in the final British Touring Car Championship pre-season test

Giovanardi flies in Brands Hatch test

The Italian, who is attempting to win a third straight BTCC title this year, took his works Vauxhall Vectra around the Indy circuit in 48.835 seconds.

Not only was his time three quarters of a second under Tom Chilton's official lap record, but it was also a tenth up on Yvan Muller's pole position record from 2001 - the previous fastest time set at the circuit since the end of the Super Touring era.

Giovanardi's closest challenger during the morning session was Motorbase Performance rookie Jonathan Adam, who excelled in his BMW 320si to end up second fastest overall.

Rob Collard completed an excellent day for the Kent-based team. He topped the timesheets during the afternoon, but his best time - which was also under Muller's old record - was still three thousandths of a second slower than Adam's.

Fourth quickest was Vauxhall's former champion Matt Neal, while Gordon Shedden was a consistent fifth in his Team Dynamics Honda.

Stephen Jelley set the sixth best time as he and WSR BMW teammate Colin Turkington - who set the pace at Rockingham last week - sandwiched Andrew Jordan's Vauxhall.

Harry Vaulkhard gave the Tempus Sport mechanics work to do during the lunchtime halt by sliding off into the gravel at Druids and bringing out the red flags. He had a much more productive afternoon, finding 1.2 seconds and improving from 14th to ninth.

Dave Pinkney in the second Dynamics Honda completed the top ten in a time under three quarters of a second slower than Giovanardi's.

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