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BTCC legend Fabrizio Giovanardi returns with Airwaves Racing

Tuesday, February 04 2014

Multiple Touring Car champion Fabrizio Giovanardi has confirmed that he will join the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid in 2014 with Kent's Airwaves Racing team.

The Italian's inclusion follows that of Alain Menu last week, and with Colin Turkington expected to confirm his participation imminently, there will be seven former champions on the BTCC grid at Brands Hatch this March (29/30).

The signing of Giovanardi, who came close to winning three straight titles at the end of the last decade, is a statement of intent from Dave Bartum's squad, who are bouncing back from a tough 2013 season.

"I am really looking forward to coming back to this special championship," the Italian said. "For the last four years I have done long distance racing and for me, it's quite boring! I need to be fighting for championships and this is the best place to find that, so I'm really happy to be back. Obviously, I have to respect the other guys out there but I want to come here and try to win another championship; I need to win the third one!

"When I stopped racing with Triple Eight I had a chat with David Bartrum and we tried to find a deal, but there wasn't the condition to do that, so now after four years, David has given me the technical effort to win the championship. In 2008 and 2009 I had a big battle with this team and they were one of the teams to beat then. After four years I believe they've got good experience, they've grown up and they are right at this time to give me the winning chance. These are passionate guys, it's a small team but with people that work well together. Good people and the right people make the right target and I believe straight away that we can be one of the teams fighting for the championship."

"This is a very important year for Airwaves Racing," added Bartrum. "This is going to be the one when we really do underline the product we've built here at Motorbase Performance and Fabrizio is the man to show you how it should go. I tried to get Fabrizio on board a couple of years ago, we've talked a lot about touring cars and this year I decided just before Christmas that was the right way to try and go. It was something that Airwaves set out in their criteria; they wanted us to up our game, and I was very happy to meet it.

"The intentions are the same as last year, the team wants to win, and if you're going to go after the championship this is the year to do it. There are thirty cars on the grid and possibly seven guys that have won it before; so I think it's a fantastic year for Giovanardi to come back and join us. A lot of work has gone into the car over the winter. I'm really pleased with what the team has done, they've worked very hard. We've always been proud of our driver line-up and no more this year than last year, but this year it's got a little Italian spice to it that might take the team forward that bit more."

Whilst Giovanardi is the only driver to be confirmed so far at Airwaves, Bartrum has since confirmed that two more Focuses will be entered. The drivers are expected to be announced shortly.

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