Jason Plato heaped praise on Team BMR team-mate Ashley Sutton, saying that he would support his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title bid if necessary.
The double BTCC champion enjoyed his best meeting of the 2017 season most recently at Croft circuit in Darlington, securing his first podium of the year in a sprint to the line with Handy Motorsport‘s Rob Austin in race three of the afternoon.
Plato’s home weekend was a successful one for RWD machinery, both Team BMW and Plato’s BMR Subaru squad picking up victories at Croft as team-mate Sutton grabbed pole position and race one spoils.
The trio of top-10 finishes bumped Plato up to 15th in the Drivers’ Championship, 139 points adrift of leader Gordon Shedden with a further 15 races remaining. The recent surge in form for the team comes after a sluggish start to the season, Plato admitting that the Levorg GT chassis still requires personal tweaks over the summer break to allow him to consistently fight for wins himself once again.
“Ash had an absolute corker of a weekend, and I had my best results of the year”, Plato enthused. “The mid-season break is going to be important for me as I need to work hard with the engineering team to find a solution to the chassis handling issues that I have. We made some progress in this area at the weekend but I just can’t find the sweet spot at the moment.
“I’m confident that we will start the second half of the year in much better form and be challenging for the race wins. I’m motivated and digging deep.”
Plato was quick to heap praise on his new team-mate for 2017, Jack Sears Trophy winner Sutton having claimed a pair of victories, five podiums and a fourth place finish in the previous six races at Oulton Park and Croft combined.
Sutton’s recent performances now place him fourth in the standings, just 20 points from the series lead. Team-mate Plato said that he would be inclined to support his team-mate’s title bid in the latter half of the season when necessary, confident that a Subaru could topple their Honda and BMW rivals.
“Ash is really very, very, very tasty. He’s got a brilliant career ahead of him. He’s got natural ability and he’s a racer, he’s fast and he’s a nice lad”, said Plato in the latest blog by BMR sponsor, Adrian Flux.
“He could possibly win it this year and I will do everything I can to help him achieve that. He’s a real star of the future. He’s found his sweet spot and he’s enjoying it and driving brilliantly. Everything’s rolling for him at the moment, it’s just a shame I’m in a bit of a pickle because I want to be up there with him.”
Points Scored Across Oulton Park/Croft Meetings:
|Driver/Pos in Championship||Points from Oulton/Croft|
|Ashley Sutton (4th)||107|
|Andrew Jordan (7th)||80|
|Gordon Shedden (1st)||75|
|Rob Collard (2nd)||74|
|Mat Jackson (8th)||65|
|Colin Turkington (3rd)||63|
|Matt Neal (6th)||61|
|Jason Plato (15th)||45|
|Josh Cook (13th)||27|
|Jake Hill (18th)||24|