Power Maxed Racing’s Jason Plato says he’s ‘well connected’ with his Vauxhall Astra in the wet conditions but admits the car is marginally off the pace in the dry.

The two-time BTCC champion achieved his best result of the season so far in a damp reverse grid race at Croft after finishing in third behind Tom Chilton and Josh Cook.

Plato held the fastest lap for much of the final race but said his Vauxhall lacked the necessary grunt down the straights to overtake Cook and Chilton.

“We’re quietly getting on with it,” Plato told Crash.net. “I’m very connected with the car in the wet. We’re not quite there in the dry yet.

“It’s just an element with the car that I just can’t get it to do what I want it do yet. We’re not far off. We’re a couple of tenths away in the dry.

“It’s nice to be back on the podium and have real pace. I was quicker than the guys in front but they were just too fast down the straights.

“If I lose four car lengths on the straight, they don’t need to defend. If they do defend, they’ve got more grunt out of the corners.”

Nevertheless, although Plato believes his Vauxhall is the benchmark in the wet conditions, the 96-time race winner says his team are still yet to unlock the Astra’s ultimate pace in the dry.

“We just need to find a tiny difference for the dry to give me the feel that I want and we haven’t found it yet. We’re getting closer,” Plato continued.

“Race two the balance wasn’t as good as it was in race one. We made some changes and it didn’t quite work. I was struggling a bit on the brakes.

“We’re desperately trying to find this one thing that we want to cure. Of course some of the things we’re changing trying to find this bring other problems.

“One of the changes we made meant I lost braking performance in race two. In the wet, I think we are the pace.

“I believe I should’ve been in the top four [in qualifying]. But it’ll come. I’m not stressed. If we can get the car working a bit better in the dry and we can find some more horsepower then we’ll win races.”

 

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