Plato hoping to bounce back from Snetterton frustration

Jason Plato is looking to bounce back from a frustrating weekend at Snetterton with a “competitive” showing at Rockingham this weekend.

But the two-time BTCC champion believes the set-up on his Subaru Levorg will have to be “bang on the button” at a circuit that will bring the best and worst out of the car.

Looking ahead to Rockingham…

Photo credit: Greg Toth Photography. Also main image.

“It’s a game of two halves at Rockingham, in that once you come off the banking and go through turn two we should be strong on all the infield section, which is all about the chassis,” he said.

“Then the other half of the circuit, from the last corner all the way to turn two is all flat out with two long straights, which is where we’re going to suffer through our lack of straight-line speed.

“If we can make up enough on the infield section in clean air we should do a reasonable lap time in qualifying. The difference is, in the races, we just won’t be able to stop cars over-taking down the straights.

“I think if everything goes well and we get the car absolutely bang on the button then we could potentially be relatively competitive.

“We don’t have the ability to go in with a set up somewhere thereabouts and then be competitive. It has to be bang on the button. It’s all down to how we can get the car working in pre practice.”

The Subaru’s lack of grunt coming off the corners down the straights was highlighted by team-mate Ash Sutton’s inability to hold off Jack Goff on the run to the line at Snetterton, and Plato said: “When do you ever see that? That’s what we are fighting against.

“It’s not aerodynamics, which only comes into play after 80 to 90mph.”

After struggles at Snetterton

Photo credit: Greg Toth Photography.

At Snetterton, Plato was holding his own in free practice, but a couple of changes to the car prior to qualifying made it “too oversteery, too nervous and a bit too pointy”.

“It was not quite there,” he added. “It was a bit frustrating that we could not quite get the balance we wanted.”

Starting from 25th on the grid in race one, Plato was caught up in a shunt following bunching when Rob Collard half spun in centre field.

“There was nothing I could have done with the shunt, but I made a mistake in race two – that was down to me,” he said.

“The circuit was starting to dry, I pushed and it bit me.”

The Diamond Double race three, which carried double points, saw Plato finish 15th from 23rd on the grid, despite engine problems.

“As soon as I went out, even leaving the pits for the out lap, I reported a problem – I had no engine power,” he said. “We had a good chassis in race three, the car was handling well, I just had no power.”

Racing is live on ITV4 from 10:45am on Sunday.

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