Thruxton: Jason Plato weekend summary

STRONG OUTING AT THRUXTON FOR RACING SILVERLINE'S JASON PLATO Jason Plato collected a series of solid race results this weekend, in his first event with the Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti. With just a shakedown on Thursday, a new ...

STRONG OUTING AT THRUXTON FOR RACING SILVERLINE'S JASON PLATO

Jason Plato collected a series of solid race results this weekend, in his first event with the Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti.

With just a shakedown on Thursday, a new circuit for the Lacetti and another new tyre compound from Dunlop, Plato arrived at the circuit with limited knowledge of the car's potential performance and faced a challenging weekend.

Setup changes throughout practice worked and Plato put in some fantastic quick laps during qualifying and by the end of the session posted a time of 1m 18.326s - putting him 3rd on the grid, 0.341s off pole.

As race one got underway, Plato lost a place to VX Racing's Jordan, but maintained strong pace and continued to menace those around him. Plato's position remained unchanged until, on lap 7, he reported vibration from the left front tyre. On the grounds of safety and owing to Thruxton's notorious history with tyre blowouts, the team took the decision to pit and fit a new tyre. A lap-10 safety car release enabled Plato to rejoin at the back of the pack and dice his way through the field. The race was extended to 18 laps and by the chequered flag he had made his way through to claim 10th place.

With grid positions dictated by race one results Plato started race two from 10th place. A solid start enabled him to post some quick lap times, the safety car exited on lap 6 following an incident with Eaves', Plato regained a strong charge, passing Jones and squabbling with a defensive O'Neill in 6th place. True to Plato's form enthralling door-to-door racing would entail, with Plato diving past O'Neill into Allards. A mistake from O'Neill into Campbell corner allowed Plato to seize the opportunity to go through. To the delight of the fans a last lap battle between two of the BTCC's most popular returnees, Plato and Thompson, followed. Plato would eventually finish 6th.

With the grid being reversed for race three Plato would start from 4th. As the lights went out he lost a few places but turned his fortunes around and had a strong race in his Racing Silverline Lacetti, dicing with the field and working his way through from 7th to 4th by the final lap. Again the race was not without incident as the safety car became a consistent feature of the weekend. But Plato stayed out of trouble and enjoyed some good, clean tussels, making up two of those places by the final lap.

Speaking on his weekend, Plato summarised, "As a team we had a good weekend and collected three races of valuable data. That said, my weekend promised quite a bit, but we didn't quite deliver toward the end. We're playing catch up and have changed the car and evolved it a lot from where it was."

On his hopes for the next round at Donington Park in three weeks, Plato adds, "We hope to be in a stronger position for Donington. Undoubtedly Thurxton is a Vauxhall track and actually, we were nearly as quick as them. We know the car can win if we start at the front, but at the moment, we need to focus on making sure the car can win if we're starting midpack."

The next round of the BTCC will be held at Donington Park on Sunday May17th.

-credit: rml

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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Jason Plato