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MOTORSPORT: Plato looks to next year
10:00am Saturday 27th October 2012 in Sport
Oxford’s Jason Plato believes his MG6 will be even more competitive next year after having to settle for third place in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship following the final round at Brands Hatch.
Plato travelled to Kent in second spot 15 points adrift of leader Gordon Shedden.
And, in wet conditions, he was only able to post two eighth and one fifth place finish in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 as Shedden clinched the title.
The Scotsman’s Honda Yuasa Racing teammate, defending champion Matt Neal, finished runner-up.
Plato said: “I’m here to win, so I’m obviously disappointed it’s not gone our way.
“But, that said, the MG KX Momentum Racing team are still winners – we have far exceeded our expectations in MG’s first season back in the BTCC and will return much stronger for 2013.”
Shedden said: “All I ever wanted as a kid was to race touring cars – it was never about F1 – and it was John Cleland who was my hero when I used to go and catch a glimpse of the BTCC at my home track of Knockhill in Fife.
“I never thought I’d ever get the chance to race them, though, let alone win a race and now I’m the champion. It is mind- blowing.”
Plato opened up with an eighth place as Neal led home Andrew Jordan and Tom Onslow-Cole, with Shedden fifth.
In race two, the Oxford man’s title hopes were over as he finished fifth with Shedden’s second place and fastest lap securing him the title.
Dubliner Aron Smith posted his maiden BTCC race win in Redstone Racing’s Ford Focus, with Neal third.
Plato recorded his second eighth-place finish in the day’s third race as Frank Wrathall broke his duck with his success also a first for his small family-run Dynojet team and Toyota’s Avensis model. Taking second, third and fourth line-abreast were Neal, Shedden and Jordan.
Final standings (top ten): 1 G Shedden 408pts, 2 M Neal 387, 3 J Plato 376, 4 A Jordan 346, 5 R Collard 303, 6 T Onslow-Cole 281, 7 M Jackson 274, 8 A Smith 204, 9 D Newsham 202, 10 F Wrathall 173.