Reigning European Touring Car champion Fabrizio Giovanardi has tested for the first time with his new manufacturer BMW
The Italian has won six major touring car titles with Alfa Romeo in recent years, but split with the team at the end of 2001 to drive for Roberto Ravaglia's BMW outfit.
"This is a new challenge for me and I'm really looking forward to it," said Giovanardi. "I know that a lot of Italian fans are upset by this change, but I'm sure that many of them will keep on supporting me even if I will be racing against Alfa Romeo. I don't regret, though it's always difficult to leave a winning team. But I'm obviously bringing a lot of good memories with me.
"I gave a lot to Alfa Romeo, but I also had a lot from them. If we managed to win for six years, it was thanks to the job we have done together. Merits should be equally split, and if it was not for Alfa Romeo, Giovanardi would not be what he is now."
Giovanardi's BMW Italy car will be run alongside the BMW Spain machine of 22-year-old Antonio Garcia, who raced in the Dallara Nissan World Series last year.
Ravaglia said: "I couldn't ask more on the drivers' side; we got a perfect combination between experience and youth. I think we have all we need to be super-competitive. And if we won't be successful I will put the blame on me."
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