Jason Plato admitted that a slight engine problem may have affected his qualifying performance for the ninth Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season at Silverstone.
The Team BMR driver, lying six points behind championship leader Gordon Shedden, qualified 10th on the grid for Sunday’s opening race from the shorter national circuit layout at Silverstone, losing ground compared to his main rival’s front row starting spot.
Speaking after qualifying, Plato said: “Traffic slowed us down a little bit – it probably took a tenth off.”
The biggest issue highlighted by the Volkswagen CC driver after Saturday’s session was an apparent engine problem, Plato admitting that his car had struggled on the power sections of the circuit.
“There’s nothing you can do about it though – but for whatever reason since and including Rockingham we’ve been struggling in a straight line.
“At one point at Rockingham we were pretty much last in the speed traps with full ballast and mid-pack with no ballast and that’s not what we’ve come to expect from this car, so we think we might have a slight engine problem.”
Despite concerns, the double champion added that his lower starting spot could prove dividends in his fight through the pack, slipstreaming more suited to the slippery Volkswagen machine.
“The car is there or thereabouts – we’re not two tenths off because we’re not good in the corners. It should actually help us a bit being in the pack and able to slip stream to move forward tomorrow, but hopefully we’ll have found the issue by then.”