BTCC series director Alan Gow has responded irritably to Jason Plato's assertion the championship rules on engine equivalency has hampered his Silverline Subaru BMR squad's progress, blasting it has 'borderline offensive'.
Plato vented his frustrations to the media at Knockhill that BTCC's engine rules meant his Subaru Levorg's performance was being severely hampered by the equivalency process.
Despite claiming his maiden pole position and win in race one at the home of Scottish motorsport, Plato failed to convert his strong pace in race two and three into further wins but was able to grab back-to-back third places to reignite his campaign charge by moving up to seventh in the drivers' championship.
Gow has reacted aggressively to the comments by explaining he thinks the team would be nowhere nears its current performance levels because of the parity rules and the exception which was agreed for Subaru earlier in the campaign.
“I'm just astounded at this latest round of moaning by Jason,” Gow said. “The fact of the matter is that he and his team would not be at anywhere near their current performance level, had it not been for the efforts of TOCA, all the BTCC teams and the Engine Technical Review Panel (ETRP).”
After an underwhelming opening three rounds, which culminated in the Subaru team pulling out of the Thruxton round altogether due to a fuel rail fault
, the BMR squad was also given the green light to modify its original inlet manifold – clearance only possible with the blessing of TOCA and the BTCC teams.
“As their performances at the first two events highlighted, their inlet manifold originally homologated was just not capable of delivering the engine performance that their boost level was set to give,” Gow continued. “They would have had no choice but to make do with what they had for three years – the engine regulations state that certain major components, such as the inlet manifold, cannot be changed for a three-year period.
“But purely through the good graces of TOCA, along with all competing BTCC teams and engine builders agreeing to it, they were given a waiver and the unique opportunity of correcting their performance issue. Since fitting this new manifold and camshaft their performances have been nothing short of extraordinary; achieving three out of four pole positions, winning four races, achieving 15 podiums and setting three fastest laps.
“So for Jason to still complain and infer that they have not been given the right level of performance is simply bizarre. It's actually borderline offensive – not only to TOCA, but to all other BTCC teams and engine builders who all agreed to assist them. Had it not been for this unique cooperation and agreement, their car would have remained far less competitive than it now is.
“With their current level of success I would have thought Jason would be thanking TOCA, the teams and the engine builders… but sadly not and he has prodded this subject too often for me to just sit back and not respond.”