Jason Plato has admitted that he should have secured the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship title after falling just short of overhauling Colin Turkington on a dramatic day at Brands Hatch.
Plato, who only saw his drive with the RML team confirmed on the eve of the season, capped a fine second half to the season with a stunning performance on the full GP layout of the Kent circuit – becoming only the second man after Dan Eaves to win all three races on the same day.
Despite that heroic performance – a performance that allowed him to jump ahead of Fabrizio Giovanardi in the title race – Plato ended the campaign five points behind Turkington in the title race, and he admitted that it could have been very different over the course of the year.
“Colin has won the championship well,” he told Crash.net Radio
at Brands. “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.”
Plato had gone into the weekend playing down his title chances as the rank outside, and he admitted that he hadn't expected to enjoy such success in the final rounds.
“It has been [perfect], but it shows I was correct – it wasn't my title to win, it was theirs to lose,” he said. “Hindsight is wonderful, as you can say I should have done this and should have done that [during the season], 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.”
The focus for Plato and the RML team now turns to the 2010 campaign, with the possibility that the team could run the Cruze model – currently campaigned by the works Chevrolet team in the WTCC.
While Plato admitted he would keen to drive the car, he also revealed that there were other options which could come into play for the new season.