Despite a tyre failure pitching him into the barriers in first practice, Jason Plato feels that BMR Racing are in good shape to challenge for pole position in the third Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season at Thruxton.
The double champion topped Saturday’s opening free practice session by a mere 0.068s from BMW’s Andy Priaulx, but an off at the final chicane late on in the 40-minute session sent his Volkswagen CC into the tyre barriers.
Plato was in the process of completing a race run at the time prior to his shunt, and pointed towards the car’s set-up when discussing the tyre failure.
“It looks like it was a failure actually and not a Dunlop problem, not a kerb strike or anything like that”, Plato told The Checkered Flag after first practice.
“Albeit, we completed a race run, so maybe we just overworked the tyre. More than likely it has failed through something we’ve done on the set-up.”
Plato also insisted that the BMR machine will be ready for second practice and qualifying, adding: “The car will be fine, they’ve repaired everything.”
Last a winner at Thruxton back in 2011 when driving for Chevrolet, Plato insisted that there is more performance available to extract from his Volkswagen CC in preparation for qualifying at 4.05pm.
“I think we’re going a different direction to everyone else as a team here”, added Plato. “Looking at the data, there’s more that I think I can extract from my car than others.
“If you look at how Colin [Turkington] is achieving that performance in a couple of key areas, I totally understand why. What is important is that where we are similar, my balance should be a bit better.
“We want pole. We’re in with a shout.”