Two more victories in the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship came the way of Jason Plato at Silverstone, the Triple Eight driver hailing a ‘great weekend’ for the squad in their championship hunt.
The double triumph in Northamptonshire keeps the former two-time BTCC champion still mathematically in contention to win a third crown in the season finale at Brands Hatch on 11/12 October, lying 50 points behind Colin Turkington.
Pole position was followed up by clinical victories in the opening two races, passing West Surrey Racing‘s Turkington at Brooklands bend in both encounters during their early laps as he also helped extend MG’s lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship to 28 points over Honda Yuasa Racing.
“It has been a really great weekend. I don’t think we could have done much more, to be honest”, Plato told The Checkered Flag after a strong penultimate round, celebrating a strong result in terms of their Manufacturer dice with Honda.
“I’ve not calculated the points, but I think second is secure. It’s a big shame for Sam [Tordoff], because we’ve lost a few points in the manufacturers’ where actually we could have put ourselves in the prime seat.
“There’s still all to play for, we’re still leading that and that was the target.”
The final race of the weekend saw Plato enter into a thrilling scrap that pitched as many as eight cars in a battle for third place, Turkington emerging with the final podium spot despite contact with title rival, Plato, at one stage in a dice that Turkington told TCF was a ‘defining race’.
Plato echoed remarks that it was a classic encounter, saying: “I’d have liked to have done three in one go in that last move, but I didn’t quite have the overlap on Colin to do that.
“That’s the stuff that we all enjoy. I could it all starting to unfold, and thought ‘this could be good fun this’, and sure enough it was.”
The championship is still far from Plato’s mind with a healthy gap to trim, the MG driver focusing solely on ending the season in style by adding to his five wins of 2014 in the season finale at Brands Hatch, where he feels BMW may be forced to chase.
“The most important thing for me at Brands is to win some races. I’m not interested in the championship – I want to win two races, and I hope it lashes down with rain, because that will suit us.
“I don’t necessarily think that will suit the BMW, but the championship matrix is not in my mind. I’m just there to win races.”
On the iconic Kent strip of tarmac, the MG man added: “I think any driver loves Brands Hatch. The Grand Prix circuit is an old-style circuit, and you get a fantastic impression of speed when you’re going past the armcos and trees.
“There’s undulations, and it’s very challenging from a driver’s perspective. It’s got some very quick corners which require commitment, and it’s got a good mix of slow and medium-speed corners which require a delicate touch.
“It’s a brilliant track and a big challenge, not only for the drivers but also the engineers, because everything’s a compromise. To get it working around every corner is impossible. It’s a track for men!”