Fabrizio Giovanardi

Fabrizio Giovanardi

14/12/1966

Fabrizio Giovanardi won the 1992, 1998 and 1999 Italian Touring Car Championship, the 1997 Spanish Super Touring Championship, the 2000, 2001 and 2002 European Touring Car Championship and the 2007 British Touring Car Championship in 2007.

Fabrizio Giovanardi is a racecar driver. He was born in Sassuolo near Modena in Italy. Although most of his life he was brought up in Fiji and actually technically is a Fijian. This is because he was born whilst his parents were on holiday in Italy. Hence the choice of an Italian first name. Later in life he decided to move back to Italy to pursue his racing hobby.

Fabrizio began his career karting before switching to Italian Formula 3. In 1989 he switched to Formula 3000 to compete with First Racing and won the race in Vallelunga.

A move to touring cars brought better results, as he claimed the 1992 Italian championship. He then went on to claim numerous wins in European Touring Car Series including the 1997 Spanish Super Touring Championship. He also took the Italian championship in 1998 and 1999, before moving to the relaunched European Touring Car Championship.

In 2000, 2001 and 2002 he was European Touring Car Champion, driving for Alfa Romeo. He switched to a BMW for 2003, but struggled with the rear-wheel-drive car, and returned to Alfa for 2004.

Giovanardi finished third in the 2005 World Touring Car Championship, behind Andy Priaulx and Dirk Müller.

In 2006 he switched to the British Touring Car Championship, driving a Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch for VX Racing. He came close to a first win at Donington Park before a controversial final-corner collision with Colin Turkington. His first win (and Vauxhall's 100th in the BTCC) came at Knockhill. Fittingly, he was congratulated on live TV by John Cleland, the man who took Vauxhall's first win.

He then went on to take his 2nd win in the series at Brands Hatch, having passed Gordon Shedden under the safety car, and a strong second half of the season took him to 5th overall, passing James Thompson at the final meeting of the season.

On Wednesday 15th November 2006, Vauxhall confirmed they had retained Giovanardi alongside Tom Chilton for the 2007 BTCC season. Driving the team's new WTCC-spec Vectra, he rivalled Jason Plato for the championship. At the end of the season he claimed the title after battling for the whole season with Jason Plato.

In 2008 Giovanardi was joined by new team-mates Matt Neal and Tom Onslow-Cole in a three-car team. Giovanardi sealed the title convincingly at Brands Hatch, with two races to spare.

For the 2009 season, which was Vauxhall's final season, Giovanardi was once again in the running for the title right up to the final round of the season at Brands Hatch. In the final race there was still a three-way title battle with Turkington on 262 points, Giovanardi 258 and Plato 254. A titanic battle ensued and was not settled until the last lap of the race. Plato won the race becoming the only second driver to win all three races at a BTCC meeting, with Turkington finishing second to win his first title. Giovanardi finished in fourth position, thus finishing third in the championship.

Giovanardi struggled to find a top-line drive for the 2010 season, but returned to appeared in the first round at Thruxton driving the #888 Vauxhall Vectra for Triple Eight. He won the first two races of the season before taking a fifth-place finish in race three to secure a seven-point lead from Jason Plato in the championship. The team had hoped to run Giovanardi for the remainder of the season, but he was replaced by James Nash ahead of the second round at Rockingham due to sponsor Uniq pulling out.

Instead, Giovanardi found a temporary home in the Italian-based Superstars Series, driving N.Technology's brand new Porsche Panamera S. He won a race on the car's début at Mugello. He went on to claim three wins in succession at Paul Ricard and Vallelunga enabling him to finish sixth in the series' Italian championship and fifth in the international points.

He was back in BTCC 2014 Championship season in a Ford Focus ST Mk.III but struggled to find the sweet spot in the new NGTC machinery and finished 13th overall with a solitary podium at Thruxton.

Giovanardi returned to Touring Car Racing for the first time in 3 Years for a guest appearance in the Italian Touring Car Championship round at Vallelunga. He qualified 6th but after a poor start dropped back to 10th. Despite not racing in almost three years Giovanardi fought his way back up to 4th in the race.

Giovanardi returned regular touring car racing in 2018 at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo Giulietta in the FIA World Touring Car Cup.

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