Fresh from victory in the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Rockingham, Jason Plato was quick to praise the man he battled to the flag against, Tom Ingram.
The Team BMR driver made a dramatic recovery from a 27th place finish in race one of the weekend, following a rapid repair job from contact that left his Volkswagen CC crabbing, only to pick up a hard-fought fifth win of the 2015 season in the last race of the day.
Ingram’s Speedworks Toyota Avensis had led much of the thrilling encounter, making it tough for the double champion as he fought back on multiple occasions in a bid to hang on to a potential first win of his very young BTCC career.
The former KX Akademy driver even fought back three corners after an initial overtake at Deene hairpin by Plato, who made his move stick finally at the same hairpin with a decisive lunge on lap 14.
“A brilliant race. Brilliant race”, Plato told The Checkered Flag after the final outing of the day in Corby. “It’s proper racing; I think things do occasionally boil over in this championship, but sometimes like today when it doesn’t then it makes a great race.
“The first [passing] attempt hacked my mirror off; he obviously knew that and maybe, when I look back at the tapes, I’ll see if I could have closed the door more.”
Having worked closely with Ingram in previous seasons, Plato was soon quick to heap praise on his latest BTCC rival, saying: “Maybe I taught him too much!
“He was the first darling if you like of the KX Akademy. We worked with him for two years mentoring him along – he’s a star that lad. He’s driving incredibly well. Beautifully in fact.”
Ingram himself praised the respect shown by the double champion, after securing his best result in just his second year of BTCC that left him overjoyed.
“I didn’t know he’d said that at all”, Ingram told TCF of Plato’s public praise. “That’s amazing to hear, so we’ve just got to go and do it again now!
“When you’re racing against the best people, you expect the best racing. Jason could very easily have given me a tap to send me wide but he didn’t at all. To have the respect not to do that, it’s a bloody, bloody good thing.”