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MG vow to attack as racing resumes
4 June 2013
MG team boss Ian Harrison has vowed that his team is ready to attack when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season resumes this weekend at Oulton Park.
The team heads into the Cheshire weekend 18 points behind Honda in the manufacturers' championship, while drivers Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff sit third and fifth in the drivers' standings.
Having seen Honda take all three wins at Thruxton prior to the spring break, the Triple Eight-run MG squad will aim to respond in round four and with a successful test at Snetterton having been completed, Harrison said he was hopeful of a strong weekend.
“We aren't here to pussyfoot around,” he said. “Oulton will represent a great chance for us, and we need to capitalise on that. We had a great car at Oulton Park last season and the recent test at Snetterton has given us a couple of tweaks to make the car even faster and even more competitive.
“That means we have to be looking for big points from both drivers to extract the maximum we can from the weekend. No BTCC meeting is ever easy, but this is one where we will go on the attack.”
Plato showed the potential of the MG package at Oulton Park last year, breaking the qualifying lap record to take pole and then taking two podiums on race day – despite being forced to recover from a mechanical issue that prevented him from taking his up front row grid slot in the opening race.
The double champion has two wins to his name already this season but said he was sure the team would be stronger at Oulton Park than it was last time out in Hampshire.
“We are going there in great shape,” he said. “We struggled a bit with the car in the last rounds at Thruxton but, as we were searching to perfect the set-up for that track, we unlocked certain things that will be of great benefit to us at Oulton Park. That means I am confident going there. It is a circuit that rewards a chassis with good balance, and that is what we have now.
“It is also a demanding circuit for the drivers where you can overtake. It means the braver guys will get more out of it and I totally love the place. It probably sounds a bit girlie but it is a nice picturesque track too and the fans adore the place. There's always a great buzz there.”
Team-mate Sam Tordoff meanwhile will seek to maintain a strong start to the campaign that has seen him inside the top ten in every race so far this season.
“There's no reason that we shouldn't be strong at Oulton Park,” he said. “The car was very fast there last season – Jason was on pole position – and there have been a lot of developments to it since then. That bodes well for us.
“I learned a lot personally at the last rounds at Thruxton about tyre management and I feel I have taken another step forward in learning about the championship. It is almost a local track for me and I have done quite a few miles testing around the circuit so there are no excuses. I will be gunning for the podium again. That has to be my target now.”
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