On the face of it, 2008 was a classic season for the British Touring Car Championship. Nine different race winners across four different manufacturers, more wet races than almost any season in recent history, and a plethora of young talent forcing its way to the front.
Yet there was one constant factor throughout. From the first round onwards, Fabrizio Giovanardi held the number-one spot in the championship, and even as early as the third round of the series, at Donington Park in May, it seemed inevitable that the BTCC champions' trophy would remain on a certain Modena mantlepiece for another 12 months.
The key to Giovanardi becoming Vauxhall's first back-to-back drivers' champion, and the first foreign driver to achieve the feat since Frank Gardner four decades ago, was the incredible consistency of both the 41-year-old and his bullet-proof Vectra VXR - the Italian arrived at Brands Hatch for the final round of the season off the back of 39 consecutive points finishes, stretching back to the middle of 2007.