Jason Plato: “We’re Not A Million Miles Away Really”

Jason Plato admits that Team BMR have been struggling with understeer on Saturday morning, as the seventh Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session of the season approaches at Knockhill.

The double champion ended the two 40-minute sessions in 13th and ninth respectively, the championship leader pointing to understeer problems for the Volkswagen CC initially.

“We haven’t found the groove in any of the cars yet”, Plato told The Checkered Flag after first practice. “We’re not quite there yet. We’re just a bit understeer limited at the moment so we need to make a change to combat that.”

Saturday had been dominated by Honda and in particular, local man Gordon Shedden, who put behind a miserable Snetterton to head the way in Scotland.

Photo: btcc.net
Photo: btcc.net

Plato added that the drama in Norfolk for his Honda rivals may have given them extra tyre advantages, saying: “Gordon [Shedden] is on 57kg of ballast and because of [Snetterton], he probably has good tyres on the car.

“So, I think we’re tyre limited as well, because Matt [Neal] had a bad weekend as well at Snetterton so he’ll have better tyres. I think the short wheelbase will help them here, but I’m not concerned at this stage.”

Despite the initial gap between BMR and Shedden in the opening sessions of the day, the gap was one that Plato admitted was not one to be concerned about with 75kg of success ballast called into question.

He added: “We’re only a few tenths off; we’ve got some issues but putting better tyres on we’ll be about three tenths faster.

“We’re not a million miles away, and that’s the best way to look at it. We just need to evolve the car.”

With the threat of rain emerging into the equation potentially, Plato welcomed the thought of a wet surface in qualifying, saying: “Yes. Whenever it rains or its damp or slippy, we’re right at the front.

“I think the wet would help us and hurt BMW, who I think should be in the 51s, and I think it would hurt them.”