Plato hoping to put engine issues behind him at Oulton Park

Jason Plato is hoping for a change of fortune at Oulton Park this weekend after engine performance problems dogged his Subaru Levorg at Thruxton.

Team BMR engineers have spent the past two weeks pouring over data and meeting engine builders Swindon in a bid to rectify the lack of straight-line speed that has hampered the Levorg all season.

The Cheshire circuit is more of a natural environment for the Levorg than the Thruxton speedbowl, and Plato is hoping to have a little more grunt at his disposal this weekend.

“It’s a good circuit for us but it’s very engine dependent, with lots of ups and downs and acceleration out of slow hairpins with a straight immediately afterwards, so it’s all about grunt,” said the double BTCC champion.

Jason Plato hoping for a better weekend at Oulton Park

Jason Plato
Photo credit: Gergo Toth Photography

“I’m being told that things will be better this weekend, but we will have to wait and see what the weekend holds. I won’t know how we are going until I arrive – that’s the way it is at the moment.”

A lack of speed and engine gremlins plagued Plato during qualifying at Thruxton, resulting in an overnight engine swap, Team BMR’s fifth engine change in just nine rounds of competition.

The team, who forfeited vital manufacturer’s championship points thanks to the engine change, said it was “on the back foot with lack of straight line speed, and no driver is ever able to compensate for lack of horsepower”.

Jason Plato
Photo credit: Gergo Toth Photography

Having qualified in 24th, things went from bad to worse once racing was underway as Plato was forced to retire from race one with more engine performance issues.

“It was a brand new engine, straight off the dyno, but it was horrendous – it just had no power,” said the championship’s winning-most driver. “I lost seven places in race one on the opening straight.

“We then tried to do something to it pre race two, but it was still massively down on power and I had no option but to retire after three laps. There was no point running in race three.

“It’s a very difficult situation, and I’m very frustrated and upset by what’s happening. We have an engine problem and a very serious one, and the team is working hard to try to get to the bottom of it and resolve it.

BTCC action returns this weekend…

Jason Plato
Photo credit: Gergo Toth Photography

“Based on in excess of 20 years of experience, I know I’m massively down on power compared with the other cars on the grid.”

Fans will get the chance to quiz Plato and BMR team-mate Ash Sutton at an event hosted by sponsors Adrian Flux at the circuit on Saturday evening at a marquee outside Chequers Restaurant from 6.30pm.

Qualifying is live online from 3.15pm on Saturday, with racing live from 11.15am on Sunday.

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