HOME HERO PLATO GOING FOR ALL THREE WINS AT SILVERSTONE AS 300TH CAREER RACE APPROACHES
Jason Plato says he has realistic hopes of winning all three HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship races in front of his home crowd at Silverstone this Sunday (30 Aug).
Many believe that Plato's Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti run by Wellingborough team RML will be in its element around Silverstone's short National circuit. Indeed, the majority of it is spent flat out and the Lacetti has previously demonstrated enviable straight line performance at other tracks.
Oxford-based Plato also says he has nothing to lose if he's to stand any chance of getting back into the title hunt - he lies third in the current standings, but three non-scores in the last six races have left him adrift of leaders Colin Turkington and Fabrizio Giovanardi.
Plato told btcc.net: "It is win or bust for me. Probably in reality it is now Colin's and Fabrizio's to lose, but while the points say I can still do it then I will be giving it my all.
"I'm not in a position where I have points to protect or might think twice about going for a move. I'm going to Silverstone with every intention of winning all three races."
Only once since the BTCC moved to a three-race format in 2004 has the treble been achieved - by Dan Eaves in 2005. But many now consider the level of competition to be significantly tougher, although that did not stop Plato from producing a mesmeric driver at Knockhill eight days ago when he rose from last on the grid to finish second behind team-mate Mat Jackson - the Lacetti clearly the form car at the moment.
Plato added: "To do that you have to have a car that is very capable in all areas and that is how we've now got the Chevy working. I feel I can do anything in it. Silverstone should be one of its strongest circuits all season, plus the place is very flowing and wide, not twisty like Knockhill where overtaking is perhaps more difficult. An element of luck comes into it, yes, but if three wins in a day are possible then Silverstone is our most likely bet."
Sunday's third race will also mark Plato's 300th in the BTCC. Since making his debut in 1997, he has become one of the BTCC's most successful names with one Drivers' title in 2001, plus 28 pole positions, 46 fastest laps and 48 race wins - only the legendary four-times champion Andy Rouse has more with 60. Plato's ratio of 7.7 points scored per race is also among the highest of any driver in the BTCC's 51-year history.