Jason Plato said Subaru and Team BMR should be “massively proud” of a reliable showing in the Japanese marque’s maiden Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship outing at Brands Hatch.
The double champion collected three points with a best result of 13th place in the second race of the weekend at the Kent circuit, having admitted that the car’s first two days on a race track were very much a data-collecting act.
Prior to the opening round, the Levorg had completed just one straight-line shakedown at the Millbrook test facility, its maiden run coming in Saturday’s first practice session. After a weekend therefore focused on development over personal results, Plato heaped praise on Team BMR’s efforts.
“We should be over the moon”, beamed the double champion when speaking to The Checkered Flag afterwards. “What a journey we’ve had. A very productive day.
“Massively proud. I’ve witnessed lots of other teams and competitors coming up and congratulating everybody, because we’ve done an amazing job. You’ve seen inside the car, it’s a monumental bit of engineering and a piece of art.”
The quartet collected a grand total of 584 tours of the Indy circuit combined over the two days, reliability very much a key area where the Levorg earned high praise in its infancy.
The mere blots on the team’s copybook came from an incident for Colin Turkington on race one’s opening lap, while a prop shaft issue for team boss Warren Scott meant he failed to start that particular encounter.
“We’ve had good reliability today. It’s a very good place”, Plato added when shifting his attention to performance, insisting that strengths and weaknesses are now more visible.
“We know where our weaknesses are, we’ve got some directions on the car now and we’ve thrown some bits on that we didn’t think would work, but we felt we needed to to get a cross in the box.
“At least then we could go ‘bang, it’ll work’. So what we need to do is focus in and target down our direction. We haven’t got the crosshairs where we want them yet, but we’re building knowledge.
“We should be very pleased with the performance”, Plato enthused, having set the third quickest lap in race two also, one that was only 0.119s adrift of Andrew Jordan‘s best of that encounter.
“My pace in race two was third-fastest lap, and I was the quickest man on track for the last four laps – that’s quite sexy that.”
With reliability starting on a positive note, Plato said that the coming meetings will be focused once more on evolution and set-up after a somewhat blind opening weekend.
He added: “It’s in the forefront of our minds that we cannot have any reliability issues because we need laps. We can’t afford to have any shunts; we need to get race runs to see how the evolution of the car is, but now we’ve got probably about nine races between us today and a lot of data to pour through.
“Then we can start taking away some of the safety measures which are in the car.
“Mountune are pleased with how it’s all working. They’re pleased with how we are working with them. We’re not on their backs so it’s in a really good place.”