Jason Plato declared himself pleased with the opening weekend of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season having secured the early lead in the points standings.
The MG KX Momentum Racing driver overcame a scare on the final lap of race one – when he was hit by the Honda of Andrew Jordan at the final corner – to open his account for the year and then repeated the feat in race two, despite a late Safety Car period bunching up the field behind and costing him a healthy lead.
Although unable to make it a triple success in race three, Plato secured a solid fifth place to give him an early advantage in the title race and admitted it had been the ideal start to the 2013 campaign, with new team-mate Sam Tordoff also taking to the podium over the course of the weekend.
“After taking two wins and a fifth place I am over the moon,” he said. “It really validates all the hard work we have put in to this programme and I can only see things getting better from here.
“Perhaps the most pleasing aspect for me – aside from Sam's sensational performance – was the way we dominated the second race of the weekend when we had 45kgs of success ballast on board. That's something we have worked hard on in testing and it has reaped rewards. That is going to be a huge asset this season.”
Youngster Tordoff, starting his first full season in the BTCC, secured a brace of top five finishes in the sister car including a fine third place in race three to sit third in the championship standings.
“The car was great and Jason proved that in the first two races, but I am just getting more and more comfortable every time I drive it,” he said. “We would have settled for some top ten finishes and that would have been a good solid start for us. Now, though, we have scored three top five finishes and we have raised the bar.
“The car is good and I have settled in to the team really well. We have got to be going to Donington Park in three weeks' time looking for podiums at least.”