Vauxhall Racing's Three Stars Vie for the 2006 MSA British Touring Car Championship

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The opening round of the 2006 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTTC) at Brands Hatch started out strong for Tom Chilton, VX Racing’s 21-year-old superstar of the future.

Vauxhall's Astra Sport Hatch BTC
Vauxhall's Astra Sport Hatch BTC
Chilton immediately claimed pole position in the first race at Kent Circuit. He was driving a Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch. The crowd was on its feet for 27 laps as Chilton held onto a small lead ahead of two-time champion James Thompson.

With only 5 laps remaining, Chilton ran wide into a corner and Thompson seized the opening and drove right into the winners circle. Chilton came in second, but set the fastest lap of the race. In the next two races, Chilton took 7th and 5th, and placed 3rd in the championship standing.

“That was hard work but I knew we were going to struggle,” said Chilton. “The Vauxhall is a good car but this is its worst circuit. It’s tight and twisty. This is the first round of the year. Everyone pushes really hard, but I think I struck a good balance.” Chilton’s goal is to become the youngest BTCC Champion.
VX Racing's Fabrizio Giovanardi
VX Racing's Fabrizio Giovanardi
Chilton’s VX Racing team-mates, Fabrizio Giovanardi and Gavin Smith had a mixed afternoon. Smith scored 6th, 4th, and 8th place but Giovanardi crashed out of his first ever BTCC race, hitting the wall and spinning off Cooper Straight, finishing in 8th and 7th place.

“That was a good welcome to England. I got a good start (in race one) despite Jason Plato pushing me into the wall. I was third and in front of Plato but then almost immediately he started to hit me,” said Giovanardi. “He tried to spin me on lap five but I managed to hold it.”

“It’s Fabrizio’s first year with the VX Racing Team,” said Triple Eight Race Engineering Marketing Director Franck Marie. “Fabrizio has 7 titles and lots of experience. He’s physically fine after the accident, just annoyed.”

The best of British motor racing is in the books, but there are nine more races to go in the British Touring Car Series. The next stop for Vauxhall’s multiple title-wining VX racing outfit is Ireland’s Mondello Park.

“We have a good history at Mondello Park,” said Marie. “We’re very hopeful about the next race and the series. We have three excellent drivers and we’re in this to reclaim the crown.”

K&N Engineering has a good relationship with Vauxhall. “We’re delighted to further our race team relationship with K&N for another season as we are confident it will help us build on our considerable race record during the coming year, “ said Marie. “ The additional extension of our partnership to our road car engineering department, VXR Performance Centre, will also guarantee that it benefits from our companies’ racing knowledge and will be directly passed onto our customers who will see great improvements on their road cars.”

Special project manager for Triple Eight Racing, Raphael Caille said, “K&N Filters have quality filtration and are part of an efficient package for our custom designed race cars.”

Vauxhall is a multiple title-winning VX Racing outfit and Marie said they are happy to have a strong relationship with K&N. “We want people with the technical knowledge and we want reliability,” he said. “With K&N we get as much as we can out of our cars.”

Follow VX Racing's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site.  Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world''s leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit