Top ten BTCC drivers: Jason Plato.

After asking you to vote for your leading drivers from the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season, the time has come to start the count-down to the driver you voted the top star of 2008.

Over the next ten days, we will be revealing the top ten in reverse order, with the winner being revealed on Friday 14 November.

More than 7,000 votes were cast on the BTCC poll, with each drivers average score out of ten then being calculated to decide the winner.

BTCC Driver of the Year – third place:

Name: Jason Plato
Team: SEAT Sport UK
Car: SEAT Leon TDi (S2000)
Wins: 8
Podiums: 4
Fastest laps: 5
Championship points: 223
Championship position: 3rd

The 2008 season could well have been the one where Jason Plato lifted a second BTCC title had it not been for misfortune and bad luck with his new diesel-powered SEAT Leon.

The team was late receiving its cars ahead of the season which meant Plato hadn't done much running heading to Brands Hatch, but a brace of podium finishes showed that the car had the potential to shine on British circuits.

It wasn't until round three that SEAT turned the Leon TDi into a winner as Plato took the first diesel win in BTCC history and he won again next time out at Thruxton. However, a disastrous weekend at Croft saw his chances take a major hit.

A mid-season test session at Snetterton meant SEAT were on the ball for the second half of the season, which Plato and team-mate Darren Turner locking out the front-row for four meetings in a row.

Through the second half of the campaign, Plato took six further wins but a raft of mechanical issues and an accident at Knockhill meant he wasn't able to make serious inroads into Fabrizio Giovanardi's lead.

Having discovered he would be without a drive for 2009 after SEAT pulled out of UK motorsport, Plato endured a trying end to his time with the team and lost second in the standings in the final race of the season.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jason Plato (GBR) - SEAT Sport UK SEAT Leon TDI
Ashley Sutton - Subaru Team BMR [pic credit BTCC]
Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, [Credit: BTCC media]
Matt Simpson, Team Dynamics, [Credit: BTCC Media]
Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport [Credit: Handy Motorsport]
Andrew Jordan, WSR Pirtek BMW [Credit:Jakob Ebrey]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing [Credit: Halfords Yuasa]
Ant Whorton-Eales,, BTCC [Credit:]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Senna Proctor, Power Maxed Racing, BTCC [Credit: BTCC media]
WSR BMW  - Gardx / JCT 600 teams champions

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John Robert Wood - Unregistered

November 15, 2008 9:42 AM

Perhaps it is because I am resident in the North East of England, Jason has been my Number 1 interest in the BTCC. The TV coverage of the last season has been better than ever so I can''t believe that next season will be without JP. I find that his win ethic is second to none, his personality tremendous and he is without doubt the most charismatic of all the drivers in touring cars. I suppose that once the season starts my interest MAY be rekindled but at the moment I don''t think the series will have anything like the same attraction for me, or my wife. I do not see us going to Croft next year for the first time since JP was driving Renault.

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