After salvaging eighth on the grid for the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Knockhill, series leader Jason Plato says his weekend effectively starts from here.
The double champion effectively abandoned his efforts to recover from 22nd on the grid in the opening encounter from Fife, backing off to give himself space for a qualifying-style flying lap to bank a strong grid slot for the second race of the day – based on fastest race one laps.
The Team BMR Volkswagen CC driver’s 52.675s effort puts him P8 for the second race in Knockhill at 14:17 this afternoon, Plato admitting to The Checkered Flag that his weekend can be salvaged from now despite finishing 23rd and a lap down in the first 25-lapper.
Plato, leading by 10 points from team-mate Colin Turkington still, said: “To be honest I was a little bit soft in my approach of setting the lap time.
“I knew that I was going to do it on lap three and I had set a banker the previous lap so it was looking good to be even faster until I encountered Alex Martin. But, I still left a little bit on the table, because the risk was very high should I have gone off and damaged the car or another damper.
“That was the plan though and we have now salvaged the weekend because we are in a position to score points in races one and two now.
“We knew the BMW’s were going to shoot off into the distance so we just need to get this weekend out of the way and look forward to Rockingham.
Plato says that coming through the Knockhill visit with the series lead would still be a bonus, with BMR enduring a tough weekend in Scotland so far.
“I still have a 10-point lead in the championship standings and I’m not too sure if we will actually lose the lead come the end of the day. Our damage limitation may be enough to remain in top spot.”