Jason Plato has admitted there is a 'massive desire' to turn his entry into the opening rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship into a full-season entry after he secured a win on his debut in the RML Chevrolet Lacetti.
Plato only concluded a deal with the team behind Chevrolet's World Touring Car Championship programme on the Wednesday before the event, meaning he went into the weekend without any time in the car.
Despite his lack of track time, and the fact that the team had never run the car on Dunlop tyres before, Plato qualified inside the top ten and battled to sixth place despite appearing to struggle with the handling of the car through the latter stages of the race.
Race two also saw Plato well placed for points before he was forced wide at Clearways and slipped down the order, although he was able to battle back to tenth place – taking pole for the final race thanks to the reverse grid draw.
A good start to race three allowed Plato to keep the lead but at the start of lap two, he was hit from behind by the BMW of Jonathan Adam and tipped into a lurid slide he was lucky to save.
The contact did allow Adam to take the lead while Plato battled hard to keep the chasing pack behind as he crossed the line second, only to be promoted into first place when Adam was handed a four-second penalty by race officials.
While that left Plato with a fairytale win, he openly admits that there is work to be done if the deal to race the Lacetti is to continue, stating that commercial partners needed to found to keep the programme going.
"I've got to give a huge 'thank you' to everyone at RML and to all my personal sponsors - without them this wouldn't have been possible,” he said. "A week ago I didn't have a drive; today I was back in the cut and thrust of the BTCC doing what I enjoy and to finish the weekend with a win is absolutely fantastic. It's been a massive uphill struggle - Rome wasn't built in a day.
“We're still paying the price for putting this deal together so late and thus missing all the pre-season testing but we've been changing the set-up on the car all weekend and finally made some big steps forward.
"As to the future, we'd love to be back for more and there's a massive desire to be in this fantastic championship. But, to make that happen, need to find commercial sponsors.”