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BTCC Thruxton 2013: Plato remains upbeat
7 May 2013
Jason Plato said he remained upbeat despite losing his lead in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton.
The MG KX Momentum Racing man had gone into the Hampshire event on top of the standings but struggled to match the pace of the Honda drivers for much of the weekend before a series of set-up changes brought him closer to the pace in race three.
Plato's race day had started in solid fashion with a second place finish in race one despite the fact he was carrying maximum ballast on his car, with the double champion surviving contact with Gordon Shedden on lap one to take the chequered flag behind the second works Honda in the hands of Matt Neal.
Unable to replicate that result in race two as he finished in fifth spot, Plato seemed set to take honours in race three as he worked his way to the front of the field only for a puncture late on to rob him of victory.
“We didn't really get the car to handle quite as we would have liked over the course of the weekend and that hurt us a bit,” he said. “But there are positives that we can take away from it, because we put new set-ups on the car in between the three races and we made progress with each one. But the end of meeting, I had a car that I could really push with, and that's a strong sign for the future.
“We have banked points this weekend when we were on the back foot, so that is another positive to take away and we have less success ballast when the championship reconvenes at Oulton Park in five weeks' time too. We can make more progress between now and then, so we are still upbeat.”
Plato drops to third in the championship standings as a result, while team-mate Sam Tordoff sits fifth having added three more top-ten finishes to his tally on a weekend he admitted was very much damage limitation.
“It was clear that we didn't have the quickest car at Thruxton so the objective then is to try and chip away at it and get as fast as possible while keeping things sensible,” he said. “We tried lots of things on the set-up and managed to limit the damage in terms of points to the Honda drivers, so in that regard it has been a success.
“We've got Thruxton behind us now and we don't have to go back there, so we can concentrate on tracks where we know we will be stronger.”