Motorsport: Plato edged out by Giovanardi in tense final round

Italy's Fabrizio Giovanardi claimed the British Touring Car title at Thruxton yesterday after Jason Plato was denied the chance to stage a grandstand finish as the red flag brought a premature end to the final race of the season.

Giovanardi's second place behind winner Mat Jackson in the finale came after he secured crucial victories in the first two races to establish a slender one-point advantage over SEAT's Plato heading into the dramatic decider.

Plato, who led by nine points at the start of the day, finished second to the VX Racing driver in both race one and two, but fourth place was not enough for the Briton in a third race cut short by Mike Jordan's big accident on lap 15.

Giovanardi's treble podium means he claims the title by just three points after 30 races, scoring 300 points to Plato's 297.

Giovanardi told Setanta Sports: "To win the title like that is amazing because we had to fight to the end. A one-point gap going into the last race meant that the pressure was very high.

"I could not share the title with Plato, but I can share it with my team because the Vauxhall was very good. It's taken a lot of effort to achieve this with a brand-new car.

"I have won touring car titles before but this is the toughest."

In the final race, Giovanardi got the jump on Plato after the pair had lined up eighth and seventh on the starting grid respectively.

Giovanardi quickly made his way up to third after reigning champion Matt Neal - rumoured to be joining VX Racing in 2008 - waved the Italian through.

That will have pleased Neal's potential new employers no end, as will his reluctance to extend the same courtesy to Plato after also waving through Giovanardi's team-mate Tom Chilton.

On lap 12 Plato finally muscled past arch-rival Neal but lost time in the remaining laps as the Team Halfords man sought to bully him off the road.

Plato finally managed to put some daylight between himself and Neal with just two laps remaining, but as he was lining up a pass on Chilton, Jordan crashed heavily in the final corner to force the race stewards to end the race one lap early.

"It was very close, but it all hung on the final race where I didn't get a very good start, so unfortunately that will have to go down to me," Plato told Setanta Sports.

"I knew that if the Vauxhalls came past then they would gang up as a team. It was a great fight for the championship but it just didn't go our way. The best man won on the day."

Vauxhall's fine weekend sees them claim the manufacturers' title from SEAT, while Plato's SEAT Sport UK squad lift the teams' trophy and Team RAC BMW driver Colin Turkington was crowned the winner of the independents' series.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future