MG KX MOMENTUM RACING
No.44 Andy Neate – No.99 Jason Plato
Even before the first wheel is turned in anger the union of Plato, Neate, Ian Harrison's Triple Eight team and the return of MG to the BTCC is the surprise package of the 2012 season.
It would be an even bigger surprise if Plato, or Neate to be fair, where challenging for podiums anywhere near regularly in the opening months of the season. In direct comparison to their manufacturer rivals Honda, MG come out poorly at this stage in the year, with very little testing to speak of – even the model unveiled in front of the gathered media at the series launch day was not ready to run competitively.
Just as with their prospective rivals the arc of the season is going to about how quickly the multiple championship winning Triple Eight team – who added James Nash's 2011 Independents' win to a bulging trophy cabinet – can develop the car.
Andy Neate, though often looked upon as the poor relation of his teammates at West Surrey Racing, the Team Aon showed glimpses of much improved pace last season – his qualifying effort at Oulton Park by far the best example. Unfortunately, however, he will be overshadowed by Plato who will be waiting for the event when the MG6 is ready to win.
Andy Neate onâ€¦.no excuses
“My expectations are to move up the grid and be challenging for podium positions every race. That's my realistic plan and I believe I can do that. We've got Triple Eight behind us who have probably won more BTCC races than anyone else, I've got the most successful BTCC driver as my teammate and a great brand in MG there's no excuses.”