Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship series director Alan Gow has responded to comments made by Jason Plato during the most recent meeting at Knockhill, which questioned the engine equivalency process of the series.
The double BTCC champion picked up both his first pole position and race victory of the 2016 season at the Fife circuit last weekend, a meeting that saw Plato surpass 500 starts since his 1997 debut.
During the weekend, the Silverline Subaru Team BMR driver spoke out during ITV’s live coverage – and to the media – about the performance of the Subaru Levorg in comparison to rival cars on the grid.
Series director Gow issued his response earlier this week, insisting that the championship had done its utmost to help during the team’s development season.
“I’m just astounded at this latest round of moaning by Jason,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that he and his team would not be at anywhere near their current performance level, had it not been for the efforts of TOCA, all the BTCC teams and the Engine Technical Review Panel (ETRP).
“As their performances at the first two events highlighted, their inlet manifold originally homologated was just not capable of delivering the engine performance that their boost level was set to give.
“They would have had no choice but to make do with what they had for three years – the engine regulations state that certain major components, such as the inlet manifold, cannot be changed for a three-year period.
“But purely through the good graces of TOCA, along with all competing BTCC teams and engine builders agreeing to it, they were given a waiver and the unique opportunity of correcting their performance issue.”
Despite three trying meetings initially that saw just 13 points come the team’s way, Subaru have since claimed four victories and 15 podium finishes in a recent surge.
Gow insisted that the Levorg would not have been as competitive without the changes allowed by the championship, adding: “Since fitting this new manifold and camshaft their performances have been nothing short of extraordinary; achieving three out of four pole positions, winning four races, achieving 15 podiums and setting three fastest laps.
“For Jason to still complain and infer that they have not been given the ‘right level of performance’ is simply bizarre. It’s actually borderline offensive – not only to TOCA, but to all other BTCC teams and engine builders who all agreed to assist them. Had it not been for this unique cooperation and agreement, their car would have remained far less competitive than it now is.
“With their current level of success I would have thought Jason would be thanking TOCA, the teams and the engine builders… but sadly not and he has prodded this subject too often for me to just sit back and not respond. However, I will be interested to hear if the thoughts of Team BMR Subaru also reflect those of Jason’s…”