Jason Plato vows to bounce back to BTCC best in 2019

Jason Plato

Jason Plato can’t wait to put the last two years behind him, and has vowed to get back to winning BTCC races in 2019.

The two-time champion has endured another miserable season, more often than not qualifying towards the back of the grid, and largely staying there.

But the man who has won more races than anyone else on the grid brushed off any talk of retirement ahead of the season finale at Brands Hatch this weekend.

Jason Plato
Gergo Toth Photography

Jason Plato believes he still has unfinished business…

“I have plenty of unfinished business,” he said. “I know if I’m in a competitive car for me then I will be back winning races again and that’s what I need to do.

“The last two years have been hell really. There are many reasons for that, but if I think back to where we were in our first year with the car, once I had got my head around rear wheel drive I was a match for Colin (Turkington) at the end of the year. The wheels have come off ever since.”

Plato cited engine problems, over-heating issues, bad luck with contact in racing, and an inability to get his car’s set up just right as factors behind his troubles, added to the Subaru’s well-known straight line performance deficit.

Jason Plato
Gergo Toth Photography

“…I’ve had some pretty abnormal luck…”

“We’ve had lots of problems – I’m on my seventh engine now, and we had over-heating problems again at Silverstone, plus I’ve had some pretty abnormal luck,” he said.

“It’s been unbelievable from my perspective and I’m looking forward to rebooting and thinking about the future.

“I know when I have the car underneath me, I know how I felt in the car at Croft, I know I can do the business. You don’t forget how to drive racing cars.

“I’ve historically been very good in everything I’ve jumped in, including year one in the Subaru. I turned the MG, something that was not very good, into the finest NGTC on the grid, likewise the Seat and Chevrolet.

“The last two years I’ve not been able to make my car do what I want it to do. On the odd occasion I have, bang, the performance has been there, like at Croft.”

The Adrian Flux Subaru Racing driver has pledged to do everything he can at Brands to “salvage a result from a personally disappointing and non tasty year”.

Jason Plato
Gergo Toth Photography

Plato is looking forward to finishing the season at Brands Hatch…

“We’ll try to be as competitive as we can at the weekend,” he added.

“I’ve historically been very good round Brands Hatch. It’s a drivers’ track, a chassis circuit, but I’m also very aware if you haven’t got a very good engine the very long straights are going to be tough.

“We’ve had difficulty with straight line performance from the beginning of the year – it is what it is and it hasn’t changed really. There’s still a massive disparity between us and every other car on the grid.

“But the weather should be good all weekend, nice and sunny, which will get some sun on the track and the temperature will be higher than normal at this time of the year, which will help us.”

Whatever happens this weekend, the BTCC hasn’t seen the last of Jason Plato.

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