Jason Plato was delighted with the way the new Subaru works BTCC team performed on its debut event at Brands Hatch, especially given the short amount of time to get the cars ready for the opening round.
In just 87 days, four Subaru Levorgs have been built and prepared for racing by Team BMR, with all four cars making it to the finish of every race they started.
Only team boss Warren Scott’s car failed to make it to the grid for race one, with a snapped driveshaft forcing him to sit and watch from the garage.
“In terms of the build and design, it’s been 87 days,” Plato said. “I’m dead chuffed, this is the realisation of a four-year dream for me and a bit more than a 12-month dream for Warren.
"We wanted to get together and attract a manufacturer, but me and Carlos [designer Carl Faux], we’ve had this on our plan for a long time. This is the birth of our little baby, the three of us, it’s wonderful.
“We’d liked to have been a little bit more prepared, but that’s how it is. We wanted to build a great car and that meant if we were late, we’re late.
"We’ve got all year, we’ve got a three-year project and I have no reason to believe it won’t go on for five years.”
Straight-line speed deficit
Plato scored the team’s first points in race two, finishing 13th and bringing home three points for the drivers’ championship, although chasing results was never at the forefront of his mind.
“My pace in the second half of that race was very good,” he said, speaking of race two. “I think it’s clear for all to see where our issues are at the moment.
"We’re not quick enough in a straight line. We’re losing, I think, if we add up all the areas where we’re losing out, we’re losing six or seven car lengths a lap, we’re losing it in just engine power.
“I don’t think our chassis is there yet, but I think it’s as good as the rest, we’re just lacking horsepower. After 6000 revs we’re lacking horsepower, we have to use a standard inlet manifold as part of the rules, and that’s not compliant with this application.
"Honda have changed their inlet manifold and so have the others, but we have to go through a process and I think we’ve proved that now and we’ll be allowed to change our inlet manifold.
“It’s also worth mentioning we’ve got the lowest base boost level of all the cars, lower than the Honda quite a bit, a lot less than the TOCA engine.
"We’ve even got less than the Ford so there’s more to come. We can do a better job, for sure and I think the ingredients are there for a really good year.”
James Charman / TouringCarTimes