THE 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship returned to Thruxton, the scene of last years gripping finale, with the high speed Hampshire circuit hosting rounds 10,11 and 12 on Sunday.

The VX Racing Vauxhall Vectra of Tom Onslow-Cole qualified quickest for pole position in race one.

Team-mate and reigning champion Fabrizio Giovanardi, despite carrying maximum success ballast of 45kg, managed second, with Giovanardi's closest championship rival Jason Plato starting in sixth place.

The Italian got a poor start, with the Team Halfords Honda Civic of Gordon Shedden surging into a first lap lead.

With Vauxhall's Tom Onslow-Cole chasing hard, the pair broke away from the rest of the field, only for Shedden to suffer a puncture forcing him to pit, leaving Onslow-Cole with a comfortable lead for victory in race one.

The BMW of Colin Turkington and the Vauxhall Vectra of Fabrizio Giovanardi rounded out the top three.

Jason Plato had to start from the back of the grid for race two after being disqualified for a ride height infringement in race one.

Plato battled his way up to seventh but all the action happened at the front as Giovanardi led Turkington until, Onslow-Cole in the Vauxhall barged his way past the BMW to claim second spot.

Then, on the last lap, Giovanardi suffered a puncture, handing his team mate his second win of the day.

Turkington held off a last lap charge from the other Vauxhall Vectra of Matt Neal to claim his second runners up spot of the weekend.

Race three had Andrew Jordan on pole followed by Gordon Shedden and Jason Plato.

Again Shedden's luck ran out with another puncture and Plato took full advantage as Andrew Jordan held up the chasing pack.

With Jordan retiring, the BMW of Mat Jackson took second place with Fabrizio Giovanardi claiming the final podium spot, which means Giovanardi now leads the championship with 114 points with Plato in second on 96 and Onslow-Cole in third with 93.

Full story and pictures in today's Daily Echo.