Fabrizio Giovanardi to make touring car comeback in ETCC with Hartmann Honda

Fabrizio Giovanardi will make his tin-top comeback at the European Touring Car Cup at the Salzburgring later this month

Fabrizio Giovanardi to make touring car comeback in ETCC with Hartmann Honda

The 44-year-old Italian, who is one of the most successful touring car racers of all time, will drive for Danish squad Hartmann Racing in the Honda Accord that James Thompson has won the last two ETCC titles in.

"We are definitley aiming for winning the title again," said the two-time British Touring Car champion. "The team have the expertise and the car has the potential. Now it's a matter of how quick we will work to adapt the car to my driving style.

"The last time I drove a Honda Accord was at Macau in the 2006 World Touring Car Championship and we will have only three test sessions at Salzburg to find a good set-up.

"In any case I see this opportunity to show that I am still able to be competitive at an international level."

Giovanardi has won almost every significant touring car title over the past 15 years, including three European championships, two crowns in Britain and Italy and one in Spain.

He last drove a contemporary Super 2000 touring car at the opening round of the 2010 BTCC at Thruxton - where he won twice in a Triple 8 Vauxhall - and has since raced for N.Technology, in a Porsche Panamera in Superstars and in its Ferrari-based E1-EXP2 in long-distance events on the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

Hartmann team principal Hans Hartmann said that having a man of Giovanardi's track record in the team would be a big boost to its chances of winning the title.

"Winning the European Cup for the third consecutive time will not be easy, because every year the competition is stronger," he said.

"We are very motivated; both cars have new engines and we have a strong team. Giovanardi is an experienced and fast driver."

Giovanardi's team-mate will be Wolfgang Treml.

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