Jason Plato‘s third and fourth wins of the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season jumped him to the top of the table after rounds 10, 11 and 12 at Oulton Park, the BMR Racing man saying he felt ‘real confidence’ in the Volkswagen CC.
Plato dominated the BTCC’s visit to Cheshire last weekend, starting on Saturday with a whitewash of fastest times in both free practice sessions and qualifying as he pipped long-time rival Matt Neal to a second pole position of the season.
That form was further reiterated on Sunday afternoon, a lights-to-flag race one victory backed up by a narrow 0.093s success in the second encounter of the day over nearest title rival, Gordon Shedden – the first maximum ballast win of 2015 also.
The championship lead also fell to way of the BMR Racing ace by the end of the day, Plato left brimming with confidence after signing off from Outlon Park with a fifth place finish in the final encounter of the afternoon – won by West Surrey Racing‘s Sam Tordoff.
“I love this place”, enthused Plato after adding the 10th and 11th Oulton Park victories of his BTCC career.
“We had real confidence after our test here, we’ve got the car just where we want it and when you’re in the groove with both the car and the circuit it makes the job a whole lot easier.”
Plato praised BMR’s performance on the softer Dunlop tyre compound in race three also, the particular rubber in question having proved a consistent discussion point in 2015 so far.
Describing it initially as a ‘gamble’ to run the softer tyre in the final outing of the day, the double champion said the decision was vindicated following his perfect weekend in the run-up to Sunday’s third race.
He added: “The gamble this weekend for us was to save the tyre until race three and make the absolute most of the first two.
“We know we’re quick here, and our plan was totally vindicated, it’s been a fantastic day for us. That said I was pleased with the performance on the soft tyre in the third race too.
“Pole position and two wins – a good weekend by anyone’s standards!”
Pole position and a brace of victories leave Plato now at the top of the standings for the first time in 2015, three points ahead of Honda’s Shedden as the Volkswagen driver and his fellow BTCC rivals head to Plato’s home meeting at Croft in North Yorkshire on 27/28 June.
Championship Standings After Round 4/10:
|1||Jason Plato||Team BMR (Volkswagen)||157|
|2||Gordon Shedden||Honda Yuasa Racing (Honda)||154|
|3||Matt Neal||Honda Yuasa Racing (Honda)||149|
|4||Andrew Jordan||Triple Eight Racing (MG)||144|
|5||Colin Turkington||Team BMR (Volkswagen)||124|
|6||Adam Morgan||WIX Racing (Mercedes)||114|
|7||Sam Tordoff||West Surrey Racing (BMW)||111|
|8||Jack Goff||Triple Eight Racing (MG)||104|
|9||Aron Smith||Team BMR (Volkswagen)||93|
|10||Rob Collard||West Surrey Racing (BMW)||81|