MOTORSPORT: Plato issues battle-cry as race for title is back on

Jason Plato, seen in action earlier this season, is raring to go at Snetterton tomorrow

Jason Plato, seen in action earlier this season, is raring to go at Snetterton tomorrow

First published in Sport

Oxford's Jason Plato is adamant that his 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship challenge is far from over as he goes into the second half of the season.

The MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save driver stands in fourth place heading into tomorrow’s round at Snetterton in Norfolk following the summer break, 49 points behind leader Colin Turkington.

Plato has stood on the podium six times from the first 15 races, but has only made the top step once in the opening encounter at Donington Park.

Now he is raring to get back behind the wheel.

He said: “Typically I come back from the summer break energised and full of beans with my tail up. It’s pretty simple – we have to be absolutely bang-on from here on in.

“We must be challenging for pole-position, taking wins and scoring maximum points. If we do that, then we’re in with a shout.

“This championship is nowhere near over yet, we’ve got plenty of races left to play with.

“While Colin is a bit up the road, all it takes is one bad weekend, and he hasn’t had one yet, and it can all turn on a sixpence.”

Reflecting on the season so far, he added: “It’s been a wee bit frustrating this year.

“We’ve just got to forget the past few events, what’s done is done.

“Our performances have been OK, and I think it’s fair to say the car wasn’t where we wanted it to be at Croft.

“At Oulton we were the quickest front-wheel drive car and had good race pace, that’s where we need to be from here on in.”

The manufacturer-backed MG squad was the fastest package around Snetterton last year, as Plato’s teammate, Sam Tordoff, just edged out his fellow driver to take his first pole position and victory in race one.

Plato then suffered a mechanical retirement while leading in the second contest, and while fighting from the back of the grid in race three hit the barrier, sending him into a dramatic barrel roll.

“We should’ve won two races last year,” added Plato.

And on the accident, he added: “It was much bigger than we first thought.

“It doesn’t feel that quick at that point of the circuit, but it’s a great reminder of what doesn’t feel quick, often is. We’re definitely hoping for better luck this year.”

STANDINGS 1 C Turkington 228pts, 2 G Shedden 221, 3 A Jordan 200, 4 J Plato 179, 5 R Collard 170, 6 M Jackson 138, 7 M Neal 127, 8 S Tordoff 122, 9 A Smith 86, 10 A Menu 69.

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