PLATO TELLS TURKINGTON TO "KEEP LOOKING FORWARDS" Jason Plato has advised Colin Turkington the best way for him to clinch his first HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship crown at Brands Hatch on Sunday is to "keep looking forwards, don't...
PLATO TELLS TURKINGTON TO "KEEP LOOKING FORWARDS"
Jason Plato has advised Colin Turkington the best way for him to clinch his first HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship crown at Brands Hatch on Sunday is to "keep looking forwards, don't drive on your mirrors".
Northern Irish youngster Turkington will go into the season's title-deciding final round with a 13-point championship lead. But he faces intense pressure from two of the sport's most successful names, former champions Fabrizio Giovanardi and Plato who can both still beat him.
Oxford-based Plato, the 2001 title-winner, told btcc.net: "It is 100 per cent Colin's for the taking. At 28 points adrift, I'm out of it so it's Fabrizio that Colin really needs to concentrate on. Fabrizio is still within striking distance.
"But Colin mustn't fall into the trap of cruising round for points. You have to keep looking forwards and not drive on your mirrors.
"Of course he can't afford to risk a collision if someone's going to take a lunge - neither of them can - and if Colin spots me in his mirrors he'd be a wise man to pull over and let me past because I'm going to be as hard as I can be.
"Look what happened at Rockingham two weeks ago - he turned in when I'd jumped down the inside when he had sufficient room to stay ahead of me on the outside. Maybe it's a sign he's beginning to crack and making a few wrong calls and if he keeps that up then it could just un-do him.
"Above all, though, he mustn't spend each race looking backwards as that can bring great risks."
But Plato also says that Turkington would be a very worthy champion if he pulls off the feat. And should he do so, it would mark the first outright title for Dick Bennetts' WSR squad that runs the Team RAC BMWs. It would also be the first time since 1993 that a driver in a BMW has won the championship.
Plato added: "Colin's had the luck this year every that driver needs in a title-winning year. If he'd been playing cards and holding 19 he'd still draw a two whereas if I've been on 12 I've drawn a ten every time.
"But that is to take nothing away from him. He's really stepped up a level and driven brilliantly all season as his six race wins testify. If he's Champion on Sunday then he really deserves it."