Jason Plato came close to securing a dramatic HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship title at Brands Hatch, joining Dan Eaves as only the second man to win all three races on the same day.
Despite that, Plato was unable to overhaul Colin Turkington in the race for the title and had to settle for second place.
spoke to the Racing Silverline man to reflect on the season and look to 2010…
For a programme that wasn't even happening a week before the season started, it's not been a bad year…
Firstly, I'm dead pleased. Colin has won the championship well. But we should have p***ed it if you think of the points we have lost when we have been in a position where we should have won, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
When you are on the back foot and have to push, you make moves that you then might regret at a later date but there are so many incidents. There was an electrical failure at Knockhill where we would have won – that was 17 points and game over. A puncture at Snetterton where we would have won – 17 points and game over. But you can't look back at these things.
We have done a fantastic job with the lack of preparation we had – there wasn't any to be honest – and it has taken a while to get the car sorted on the tyres. But I'm chuffed with what we have achieved, the guys have worked well and this is a tremendous team. We have done a good job for our sponsors, which is important as we move forwards, and three wins is a great way to finish it.
Has the season exceeded your expectations?
It has a bit, but I always knew [we'd do well], and that is why I took the deal, as I this isn't the way I go about my racing with everything so late. I had the upmost faith and respect for Ray and his team of people and I knew that if we could get up to speed that we would do well. Our pace and professionalism and the fact we have been dominant in the second half of the year is perhaps more than I expected though.
You insisted that you couldn't win the title this weekend and that it was a two horse race, but that weekend was pretty much perfect in terms of how you performed.
You've become only the second man to win all three races in a day – I think there was only a pole and a fastest lap missing…
It has been [perfect], but it shows I was correct – it wasn't my title to win, it was theirs to lose.
Hindsight is wonderful, as you can say I should have done this and should have done that, and if I'd been ahead then I wouldn't have done some of the things I did. But when you are behind, you have to push and try to get yourself forwards as you can't predict you'll take three wins in the final race weekend.
But I'm very satisfied with our season, and I'll say it again, Colin and Team RAC have done a fantastic job. He has gone up a big step now in his career as a driver. He is hard, whereas in the past you could have said he was a little bit soft. He is a proper lad and he deserves it.
Ray [Mallock] has said the Lacetti is a good car but that he would like to bring the Cruze over next year if it was possible. How much would you like to drive one?