Jason Plato has set his sights on reaching the top-ten during this afternoon's British Touring Car Championship qualifying session after setting the fourth fastest time behind the BMWs in second practice.

The two-time champion is experiencing his first race weekend in the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra after spending the last three seasons with the factory backed BMR Subaru squad.

Having gained all important pre-season mileage at last week's Brands Hatch test, followed by further running at Donington Park, Plato admitted his PMR outfit are still working on the Astra's pace, but can already see progress with the Vauxhall.

"I’m looking forward to the year. I know a lot of the characters from my days at Triple Eight. I trust them. We’re not there yet in terms of pace but we’re making progress," Plato told Crash.net.

"We couldn’t really get the thing working the way we wanted to at the Media day and then the following day we had a good test at Donington Park. But we’ve arrived here this morning and the car wasn’t working the way we wanted it to in FP1.

"We made some quite big changes and we’re going down a direction that we haven’t been down to date. Whilst the circuit wasn’t as good in FP2, I had a better feeling in the car and I matched my time from FP1."

Although conceding the leading BMWs are probably out of reach, Plato is confident of fighting towards the sharp end come qualifying.

"I think the time was representative to the rest of the field where it finished up, up near the sharp end," Plato continued.

"If it’s bone-dry, we’re not going to be as quick as the BMWs. We haven’t got the car where we want it. Maybe not as quick as a couple of the Hondas. If we can get top-ten, I’ll be pleased as an opening score.

"It’s difficult to know what the weathers going to do. We’re having fun and we’re making progress. Everyone is happy."

Looking to the year ahead, Plato is optimistic of achieving success with his new squad after what proved to be a difficult last couple of years for the former champion with his previous BMR squad.

"There’s great potential in this car and there’s great enthusiasm, commitment and integrity from everyone in the team. That’s what you want," said Plato.

"I’m pretty confident we’ll taste some champagne this year. How much? We’ll have to wait and see.

"I think we’re going to be in the mix. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. We should be competitive and I think we will be competitive and that’s all you can ask for. I want to be in the fight!"





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