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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas