Jason Plato is hoping to reclaim ground back in the title race this weekend at Knockhill, a track that the double champion admits he enjoys the challenge of racing at.
The MG KX Momentum Racing driver finds himself now playing catch-up in the championship chase after a weekend to forget at Snetterton last time out, but feels that the undulating Knockhill circuit in Fife is the perfect place to do so this weekend.
“Knockhill is a great circuit because it is undulating and it flows really nicely”, says eight-time Knockhill winner Plato.
“There are crests and lots of blind corners. That means you have to attack the circuit while trying to be as precise as possible to be on the right lines. At some of the turns, if you are slightly off-line at the entry, then it is magnified all the way through and you are in real trouble on the exit.
“That makes it a compromise because you have to be committed and attack, but you also have to think about leaving a little margin for error. That makes it perfect for me. Those elements, plus the fact that the fans can get so close to the action, makes for a really good atmosphere.”
The Snetterton weekend proved a disappointing one for Plato last time out, a second place behind team-mate Sam Tordoff in race one looking to be followed up with a win as Plato led race two early on, only to be denied by a fuel pump issue that slowed him to a crawl.
A dramatic-looking barrel roll in race three ended the weekend on a low note and sees Plato now lying 50 points behind championship leader Matt Neal heading to Knockhill, while team-mate Tordoff enters the Scottish round looking for more luck after running into reliability problems despite collecting two milestones at Snetterton with his first pole and race victory in BTCC last time out.
“It was an amazing feeling, but once you have had one victory, you want more”, Tordoff said. “I am aiming for three really strong races. I have learned in my opening few weekends in the BTCC that it is important to score highly in all races over the weekend.
“I have had some bad luck recently that has meant I have had at least one race where I have struggled. I need to put that behind me and work on my consistency, so that is the aim this weekend.”
Team boss Ian Harrison also understands the challenges of Knockhill – including the Scottish weather – saying: “It is a circuit that can be a bit of a lottery – and that’s not just because of the Scottish weather. It is so tight that the field tends to stay closely grouped together and that can lead to contact. Keeping out of trouble is the first job, and then you can think about attacking the race.
“It is always hard to know what to expect at Knockhill, but we will go there with our usual attitude of aiming for big points from all three races from both of our drivers.”