By Pat Cranham, BTCC reporter
Jason Plato has confirmed that he will be back with RML and Chevrolet to defend his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Plato also has his sights set on the accolade of becoming the most successful driver in the series history after he equalled the record held by Andy Rouse at the final meeting of 2010 at Brands Hatch on his way to the championship.
The aim this year is to win the championship, that’s all everyone’s focused on.
Although no official announcement has been made Plato confirmed to the official BTCC website that he was to continue with the team and said, “The aim this year is to win the championship, that’s all everyone’s focused on. While the records are lovely, they’re not important - those things are good for when you retire and I’m not ready for that yet. We just want to continue the good work we did last year. We were very dominant at the end of last year and we’re hoping to start where we left off. We’ve got continuity in terms of staff and are starting from arguably the best position ever – at least in the three years I’ve been with RML”
Unlike most of his rivals Plato also confirmed that the team would not be changing to a new Turbo NGTC engine and would continue with the same S2000 engine that took him to the title. Plato then went on to explain the team’s decision not to change the winning formula, “We’re not ready to run a turbo engine yet and we feel that knowing the package as we do - knowing the car, knowing the next engine development stage - we’re confident we can mount a strong championship campaign. We all know what the turbo cars can do but if you look at the performance of the NGTC-spec engines last year, the S2000 cars were competitive.”
No announcement has yet been made on the second driver however it will be more of a surprise to see anyone but youngster Alex MacDowall continue for a second season with the team after a promising debut in 2010, while there is also some talk of a third car appearing.
Also to be announced is title sponsor of the team. For the past two season’s Silverline has sponsored the RML Chevrolets. Firstly back in 2009 when they ran as an Independent team using the Chevrolet Lacetti where they ran as Racing Silverline with Plato and Mat Jackson, then turning into a works team and switching to the Cruze in 2010, running under the name Silverline Chevrolet.
However one thing that the team did confirm was like Motorsport.com they will be attending a specially set aside BTCC test on March the 9th at Brands Hatch in a plain liveried car.
So stay tuned to Motorsport.com for all the news and images following the test as the teams step up their preparations for the coming season, which will start in just 4 weeks at Brands Hatch.