EMBARGO UNTIL SATURDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2005/ VX Racing has confirmed today its participation in the 2006 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, an unrivalled eighteenth consecutive year that the Luton-based manufacturer has competed in the series.

Also announced is the all-new driver line-up for the 2006 campaign, with WTCC star Fabrizio Giovanardi and current BTCC hot property Tom Chilton joining the five times manufacturer- winning team.

After starting his career in single-seaters, Giovanardi has been a touring car driver for the past 14 years. With previous championship titles in Italian Super Touriing, European Super Touring and ETCC under his belt, the 38-year-old Italian joins VX Racing having just completed a successful WTCC season with Alfa Romeo, finishing third in the championship, having achieved four race wins and eight podium finishes.

Giovanardi said: For sure Im really excited about joining VX Racing. Personally, I think they are the best team in the UK series. James Thompson, my team-mate at Alfa Romeo in the world touring cars, who used to drive for VX Racing, has also told me good things about the team.

I think next season will be good, it will be an experience and also a challenge. It will be difficult for me at first because, other than Silverstone and Donington, I dont know many of the British circuits. But I am a professional driver and I can learn quickly. Im feeling confident and although it is a new series for me, it is still touring cars and I have raced against top drivers Matt Neal and Jason Plato before.

I want to win with VX Racing and I want to do my best for the team. I am going to put a lot of effort in and give my best to help Vauxhall win the championship.

From the beginning of his touring car career 20-year-old Tom Chilton set new records in BTCC history. On his race debut in 2002, in an ex-works Vauxhall Astra Coupe, Tom was the youngest driver to line up on the grid. And on 10th May 2004, at just 19-years-old, Tom became the youngest ever race winner in the series, and has since gone on to achieve podium success with Honda.

Chilton said: Its fantastic joining VX Racing. My first drive in the touring cars was in a Vauxhall so Im looking forward to driving the Astra Sport Hatch.

Ian Harrison (team principal) is a great bloke and he has a good set of guys at the team. Im really pleased to have Fabrizio as my team-mate as I think hes a good driver, one of the best. Im looking forward to working with him to get a good comparison of how Im doing.

On announcing the new signings, Stuart Harris, VX Racing Manager, Vauxhall, said: We are really pleased to have Fabrizio and Tom on board at VX Racing. They form an exciting and competitive line-up for the 2006 season.

Fabrizio brings a wealth of experience with him to the team and we are looking forward to working with him. Tom is still young, but as we have already seen in BTCC, he can deliver results.

Vauxhall will continue with the Astra Sport Hatch for the 2006 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The car won eight BTCC races in 2005, in its debut season.