Tag: Jason Plato

BTCC: Champion trio delivers at Donington Park

The three most successful drivers in the British Touring Car Championship field took a win apiece in a thrilling triple-header at Donington Park.

With seven drivers’ championships between them it was the class of Jason Plato, Colin Turkington and Matt Neal that rose to the surface on a brilliant day of racing in Leicestershire.

Left slightly disappointed that he couldn’t convert his superior free practice pace into pole position, Team BMR’s Plato wasted little time in reaching the race one summit.

He immediately blasted by Gordon Shedden’s Honda Civic Type R off the line and had enough grunt in his VW CC to be nudging the sister car of Turkington into the first corner. Reigning champ Turkington held on for much of the opening lap but eventually had to give way to Plato on the run to the final chicane. Plato powered away by more than a second before sustaining the gap for the remainder of the race.

Attention turned to the battle for second which resulted in some epic mid-race action. After trading places, Shedden’s Honda slid slightly wide at Redgate on lap seven and Turkington promptly angled his VW down the inside of the Japanese machine. The Ulsterman only held the position for a split second, however, as his Honda rival fought back brilliantly by returning the favour on the run to the Craner Curves.

The Scotsman managed to keep the #1 car at a relative arm’s length until the finish and celebrated second by also setting the fastest lap. The new lap record holder would now start race two from pole position ahead of Turkington.

Team BMR’s Turkington made it by the pole-sitting machine of Shedden on lap one, and although the pair scrapped ruthlessly early on, the VW eventually pulled away to take a comfortable victory. WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan took his first podium of the season to complete the rostrum.

Such has been the competitiveness to the start of the 2015 BTCC season that Turkington became the fifth different driver to win in the opening five rounds.

It was to be Matt Neal who earned bragging rights as the first double victor of the year after he came out on top of a relentless multi-car battle in the final bout.

Power Maxed Racing’s impressive rookie Josh Cook started the race from pole position and despite losing out off the line to Rob Collard’s BMW, he soon re-passed and did an absolutely stellar job at the front for the first few laps, but his hard work was soon to be undone.

The race was neutralised on lap six when Sam Tordoff’s BMW and Jack Goff’s MG had a coming together at the final chicane. Both cars were fired off into the gravel and out of the race with the Safety Car being deployed to allow marshals to retrieve both stricken vehicles. This eroded Cook’s lead and set up a spectacular end to the day.

There were changes aplenty behind as Plato’s VW, Jordan’s MG and the Mercedes of Morgan tussled in the early stages.

Aron Smith had already blazed a trail from 12th on the grid up to third prior to the incident and was into second shortly after the restart. He immediately reeled in the race-leading Chevrolet of Cook ahead of him which led to a pulsating scrap over the following few tours. The pair touched through the ultra fast Craner Curves and both cars bounced across the grass in dramatic fashion. The wild sliding VW of Smith made it back onto the track right amongst the chasing pack while Cook rejoined behind them. It was an incredible escape for both drivers but the episode left Collard out front.

Neal, who had already clashed with Jordan’s MG at the Old Hairpin, hauled in the WSR car and squeezed his Honda into the lead with just two laps to go. Jordan made it through too and he was eventually sandwiched between two Hondas as Shedden made the last step on the podium after his own stellar drive from 14th on the grid.

Collard claimed fourth ahead of an incredible drive from teenager Aiden Moffat. Not only did the Mercedes youngster make the most of the incidents ahead of him but he also made impressive late moves by previous race leaders Smith and Cook. Despite his dramas, Cook takes the lead in the Jack Sears Trophy table.

Neal leads the standings by two points from Turkington, with Shedden a further five points adrift in third. Honda takes the lead in the manufacturer/constructor standings, while Team BMR head the teams’ table.

The championship now heads to Thruxton in Hampshire on 9/10 May.

Read more at BTCC.net

BTCC: Matt Neal makes it a Honda double at Brands Hatch

Honda’s Matt Neal completed a memorable afternoon and claimed the second victory for the new Civic Type R, following team-mate Gordon Shedden’s thrilling race two win earlier in the day.

The finale got off to a dramatic start when Rob Collard’s BMW was tapped into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend, whilst a quartet of runners further down the field made contact at Druids. The first safety car of the season was immediately deployed as Josh Cook’s Chevrolet and Warren Scott’s VW were also forced into retirement.

Pole-sitter Rob Austin remained out front in his Exocet AlcoSense Audi but the two-time race winner couldn’t shake off the attentions of Neal and the MG of the impressive Jack Goff. The top three pulled away following the restart as Sam Tordoff’s kept a trail of cars behind him in fourth.

2013 champion Andrew Jordan was busy having his best showing of the day on his MG debut, as he scythed his way by Tom Ingram’s Toyota and Tordoff’s BMW to grab fourth on lap 15. Aron Smith was cutting his own similar ascent through the pack and eventually followed Jordan through and into fifth.

There would be changes aplenty in the top order, however, as race-leader Austin struggled for pace late on. Neal made his move on lap 21, and was immediately followed through by Goff at Paddock, as Austin was unable to withstand the race-long pressure. Jordan was soon upon the Audi too but a mistimed attack on the approach to Clearways led to contact, with both cars scampering across the gravel. Austin recovered and went on to claim fifth while Jordan retired in the pits with a puncture.

Goff kept Neal honest throughout and although they couldn’t match the incredible closeness of the race two finish, the gap across the line of just 0.196s again went to show the ultra competitiveness of the BTCC.

Smith, Tordoff and Austin were next up on the timesheets while Ingram rounded off a solid opening day with a top six result. Adam Morgan’s Mercedes took seventh ahead of the charging Andy Priaulx, who made the most of last corner contact between Dave Newsham’s Chevrolet and Hunter Abbott’s Audi to claim eighth.

Former champions Colin Turkington, Jason Plato and Shedden all endured disappointing results for differing reasons. Turkington spun his VW at Surtees and could only recover to finish 12th while his team-mate Plato had his storm through the field halted by a power steering problem. He was able to finish the race, albeit way down the order, while Shedden’s Honda did not make the final classification after a mid-race pit stop to correct his own mechanical woes.

Read more at BTCC.net

BTCC Brands Hatch FP1: Tom Ingram is fastest

Tom Ingram was the surprise name at the top of the time sheets in the first free practice session of the new season of the BTCC at Brands Hatch this morning.

On a drying track the Speedworks Motorsport driver set a time of 50.665 seconds, more than half a second faster than the next best car, the Honda of Matt Neal
Rookie Josh Cook, runner-up in last year’s Clio Cup, was third frastest ahead of Rob Collard and Dave Newsham.

Reigning champion Colin Turkington could only manage 13th fastest in his first session with Team BMR. All three of his team mates were ahead of him, with Aron Smith seventh, Warren Scott eighth and Jason Plato 11th.

MG pair Jack Goff and Andrew Jordan spent most of the session in the garage, completing just eight laps between them.

The next free practice session is at 12:45pm.
Follow live timing and driver tracker on itv.com/btcc
Qualifying, live on itv.com/btcc at 3.30pm

Read more at ITV Sport

BTCC: Colin Turkington and Jason Plato to race BMR Volkswagens

British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington and record race winner Jason Plato will race as team-mates in Team BMR Volkswagens in 2015.

The top two drivers from last year’s championship fight join Aron Smith and team boss Warren Scott in the fledgling outfit’s quartet of CCs for only its second season in the BTCC.

Both Turkington, whose departure from West Surrey Racing was confirmed last Friday, and ex-MG driver Plato have been signed on multi-year deals, with the team’s marquee 2014 signing Alain Menu and Jack Goff making way.

“It’s taken a while to get to this point and I am relieved,” Turkington told AUTOSPORT.

“I always tried to keep my options open because I knew I was in a potentially very tricky situation.

“I’ve spent quite a few weeks not knowing if I would even be racing at all. That was not easy to understand, having just won the championship.

“I feel it’s the best option outside of WSR. You want to go somewhere you feel you have the chance to win. Given time, there will be the possibility to do that.”

Scott’s team has also signed engineering heavyweights Carl Faux and Kevin Berry to help advance its fleet of CCs.

Plato worked with Faux at MG while Berry, who was at Triple Eight with Plato in 2012, was Turkington’s engineer at WSR for the last two years.

Double champion Plato, whose last title came with the RML-run Chevrolet operation in 2010, believes that technical strength will fast-track the team’s progression from reverse-grid race winner to championship challenger.

“It’s a race-winning car in race three, it’s still not there yet,” he added. “The main thing for me is the right people are involved in the programme.

“I worked with KB in 2012 and Carlos basically designed and developed the MG into the best car on the grid.

“Those two being involved and running the technical department is a very clear sign of how the team’s going to move forward.”

Team boss Scott said he had no worries about managing two of the championship’s best drivers, and played down the suggestion that the inexperience of the team would be a limitation.

“I think the team has coped extremely well with the steps we’ve taken so far,” he told AUTOSPORT. “Although we’re only a two-year-old team, if you look at our years of experience we’ve got a wealth of it.

“If I was going to play, I’d have one car. With four, I’m going to do it properly. When the opportunities come, you’ve got to take them.”

Read more at Autosport

BTCC: British Touring Car Championship 2014 Review

ITV4 Sunday 23 November 2014 @ 18:00

A look back at the 2014 season, which featured 10 meetings, starting and ending at Brands Hatch, with the likes of Colin Turkington and Jason Plato challenging for the title.

You will see all the best moments from the season, both on track and off track, right up until Colin claimed his second BTCC title at Brands Hatch in October. There will be some all new and exclusive content too, including ITV’s trip to West Surrey Racing’s HQ to speak with the newly crowned champ.

Presented by Louise Goodman.

Repeated ITV4 Saturday 29 November 2014 @ 10:40

BTCC: Colin Turkington crowned champion

eBay Motors star takes his second drivers championship as MG claims manufacturer honours

eBay Motors driver Colin Turkington was crowned the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion after a quite pulsating final day of racing at Brands Hatch.  The Ulsterman came into the weekend with a relatively comfortable points margin, but had to overcome the challenge from MG’s Jason Plato – the most successful BTCC driver in history.  Plato laid down an immediate marker by claiming pole position ahead of his MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save team-mate Sam Tordoff, whilst Turkington could only manage fourth on the grid behind Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden.  An action packed opening race commenced with a huge multi-car accident, as well as providing three different leaders in the opening half lap.  Pole-sitter Plato was jumped off the line by Tordoff, who then immediately had the BMW of Turkington blasting around his outside as the pack roared into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time.  There was drama behind after a coming together between the Airwaves Racing Ford Focus of Fabrizio Giovanardi and Shedden’s Honda Civic Tourer sparked a sequence of incidents in the pack.  Shedden’s machine slid sideways across the track following the contact and was hit heavily by the unsighted Rob Austin.  Jack Goff’s VW was bumped from behind in the melee and briefly became airborne with both Dave Newsham and Alain Menu also involved.  Matt Neal’s Honda was also car collected in the incident, ending the triple-champion’s day as he was flown to hospital for a precautionary X-ray on his ribs.  When the dust eventually settled it was Plato leading from Tordoff, with Turkington in close pursuit. The MG duo held on for an impressive one-two but it wasn’t enough to deny 32-year-old Turkington from claiming his second BTCC title.Turkington’s eBay Motors squad was ready in the pitlane to welcome its man home, as the West Surrey Racing-run team also secured the Teams’ and both Independents’ championships.“I am over the moon,” said the new champion.  “I wanted this more than ever and I was prepared to do whatever it took to win the title.

“I suppose the main feeling is relief.  We were ready to do battle until race three so I really wasn’t expecting to clinch the title so early in the day.  I actually thought I was a point short when I crossed the line so I didn’t want to celebrate until I was absolutely sure.

“To be able to celebrate with the team and my family is a really proud moment.  Lewis [Colin’s son] wasn’t old enough to remember the first one and part of the reason to get back into the BTCC was to do it for him, so I’m delighted.”

Race two was all about MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save securing the Manufacturers’ Championship but the encounter wasn’t without incident.

Plato finished first on the road but was later penalised for his involvement in a race-ending shunt for Turkington.  The eBay Motors BMW led the way in the early running before contact from the MG behind sent Turkington spinning into retirement.

Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson took over the reins but his lead didn’t last long after the multiple race-winner spun it away of the exit of Hawthorns.  Plato baulked up while Jackson was having his moment, allowing the BMW of Rob Collard to nip through.

Changes for top spot were far from finished, however, after Morgan got past Plato before producing a stellar move by leader Collard at Paddock Hill Bend.  Plato made it through too as Collard’s soft compound tyres began to drop in performance.

Morgan then slid wide to seemingly hand victory to Plato before the latter’s post-race penalty gave the Mercedes driver a maiden success.  Incredibly it was also the first overall win for the German marque in the BTCC.

“It’s brilliant,” beamed Morgan. “We’ve been praying for a podium for so long, so to get a win at the last event of the year is just fantastic.”

Shedden produced a master class in treacherous conditions in the season finale, ending a challenging campaign on a high for Honda Yuasa Racing.

Tin-top rookie Jack Clarke scored an incredible second placed finish after seeing off a number of challengers throughout the contest.  The pole-sitter lost out to the fast-starting BMW of Nick Foster off the line but he retook the lead with a great move at Graham Hill Bend.

Shedden made light work of Foster and immediately set about attacking Clarke ahead of him. The 26-year-old held on well for a number of laps before the Scotsman slipped through on the exit of Hawthorns.

Jackson completed the podium, rounding off an excellent season for the multiple race-winner in which he completed all 30 encounters.  It was a hat-trick of accomplishments for Ford drivers as Dave Newsham also collected the Jack Sears Trophy for making up the most places of any Independent driver throughout the campaign.

It was all eyes on Turkington after the final chequered flag of the season, however, as he took to the podium in front of a huge crowd and collected the much coveted BTCC trophy for the second time in his career.

The glittering occasion rounded off a record breaking and hugely successful 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, which saw 31-cars take to the grid, including seven former champions.  Such has been the competitiveness of the burgeoning series that Adam Morgan today became the 11th different race winner in 2014 – a year that has provided more victors than in any other in the history of this illustrious championship.

So many drivers have made the top step of the podium during the season, but of course there can only be one champion, and that richly deserved accolade goes to eBay Motors star Colin Turkington.

Read more on btcc.net

 

BTCC: Plato’s Silverstone double sets up title decider

MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save driver Jason Plato scored two impressive Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship victories at Silverstone, ensuring there will be a title showdown at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.

The home of British motor sport never fails to produce incredible racing, and a crowd of over 30,000 fans descended on the Northamptonshire venue to see the best tin-top drivers in the country battle it out around the National circuit.

For both wins Plato had to get past current championship leader Colin Turkington, making late dives down the inside at Brooklands corner on both occasions to steal some valuable points back from the eBay Motors BMW driver.

Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson completed the podium in the opening race, having jumped fellow second row starter Sam Tordoff off the line. MG’s Tordoff had to fend off the Chrome Edition Restart Racing duo of Alain Menu and Aron Smith to claim fourth.

With Plato leading home Turkington again in race two, it was this time left for Menu to join them on the rostrum after the Swiss star attacked Jackson through Copse before completing the move at Becketts shortly after the mid-distance stage of the contest.

The second race also saw one of the biggest accidents of the season when Rob Collard’s BMW barrel rolled several times before coming to rest upside down. The incident was sparked after he’d made contact with Jack Clarke’s recovering Ford Focus, which was in the midst of a high-speed slide on the exit of Becketts. A shaken and winded Collard was taken to hospital for precautionary X-rays but was released later on Sunday evening.

One of the most incredible touring car battles in recent years then played out when no fewer than five former BTCC champions went doorhandle-to-doorhandle in a bid for a podium finish in the final race.The race win went to the impressive Jackson – his second victory of the season – as the Motorbase driver nipped by team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi in the early stages. Smith followed suit to claim a lonely second place while the epic scrap ensued behind.

Turkington eyed every opportunity to get past Giovanardi before finally making a concrete attempt at the end of lap 19, which launched a sensational sequence of events.

Giovanardi and Turkington touched while running side-by-side across the start/finish line, as the VW of Alain Menu also joined the fray. As the two squabbled over the same piece of asphalt Menu cleverly wedged his VW up the inside of both of them and into third place through Copse.

They were three abreast on the run down to Becketts before Plato made it four former champions in the fight. Plato’s MG then made contact with the rear of Turkington’s BMW at the tight turn, which speared the Ulsterman’s machine into Giovanardi’s Ford Focus. The Italian impressively saved the car from a wild slide but not before he had been bumped down the order.

It was three-wide again down the Wellington Straight with reigning champion Andrew Jordan now looking to join the party. As the cars roared into Brooklands it was Turkington who emerged in third place immediately followed by Plato, Menu and Jordan. The quartet were eventually covered by little more than a second as they finished the race.

The fallout from a fantastic weekend at Silverstone is that Turkington now holds a 50-point advantage in the Drivers’ standings over Plato and the two will now duel it out for the coveted BTCC title at Brands Hatch next month.

MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save is in the driving seat of the Manufacturers’ championship with Plato’s dynamic double extending its lead over Honda Yuasa Racing to 28 points.

Turkington and eBay Motors have now moved into unassailable leads in the Independents’ drivers and teams tables.

Read more on btcc.net

BTCC : Plato Out-Duels Turkington to Win Race 2

Jason Plato has scored his second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship win of the day at Snetterton after getting the better of Colin Turkington in a race-long battle.

The eBay Motors BMW of Turkington soared into the lead as the 31 flame-spitting tin tops approached Riches for the first time as Plato tucked his MG6 in behind the championship leader.

The race was neutralised shortly after as Alain Menu’s VW was fired off into the barrier at the exit of turn one, bringing out the safety car. Fabrizio Giovanardi and Andrew Jordan has already continued with their respective progress towards the front by that point, both finding themselves inside the top ten at the restart.

Such delight was short lived for reigning supremo Jordan, however, as he sized up a battle between the BMW of Rob Collard and VW of Jack Goff ahead of him. The duo had already touched earlier in the lap and when two became three on the run through Brundle, something had to give. Unfortunately for Jordan it was his car on the outside of the turn that was forced off the track and into a spin. He later recovered to finish 15th but has since been ruled out of race three by the BTCC medical team (see separate story).

Further incident followed down the order as Jack Clarke’s Ford Focus jinked left to miss Martin Depper’s Pirtek Honda scything down his inside, but in doing so Clarke made contact with Warren Scott’s VW. Rob Holland’s Audi also went off in a separate incident.

Meanwhile up front and Shedden had made his way by Adam Morgan’s Mercedes before all three podium positions changed on the same lap. Plato slipped down the inside of Turkington at Montreal and Shedden was seemingly let through by his ballast laden team-mate Matt Neal at the same corner. Turkington kept Plato honest throughout – often less than half a second behind the MG – but the king of Snetterton held on to complete his double.

Read More on btcc.net

BTCC : Plato Produces Lights-toflag Victory

MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save driver Jason Plato has claimed his second BTCC victory of the season after leading the opening race at Snetterton from start-to-finish.

Championship leader Colin Turkington extended his advantage in the standings by taking second ahead of Honda Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal. Adam Morgan was just over a second away from scoring a maiden podium for the new-for-2014 WIX Racing Mercedes A Class as he closely followed home Neal’s Honda Civic Tourer.

Sam Tordoff’s race day commenced in a rather dramatic and unwanted fashion as the second-row starter suffered with brake failure going into Riches on the opening lap. Contact followed behind as his MG6 slowly rejoined the track, which played its part in a further clash with Dave Newsham’s Ford Focus and the eBay Motors BMW of Nick Foster.

There was one more significant incident before the end of the opening tour when Jack Goff’s VW tagged the MG of Marc Hynes in a battle at the lower end of the top ten. Hynes’ race wouldn’t get any less frenetic as late contact with the Proton of Daniel Welch put paid to the former’s recovery drive through the order, whilst STP Racing’s Welch retired in the pitlane.

Plato and Turkington pulled away at the head of the field as Alain Menu slotted his VW into third during the early running. Meanwhile Neal was busy making his way by the fast-starting Tom Ingram before making relative light work of Menu ahead of him. The three-time champion made his own getaway as a quite bizarre fight for fourth followed him.

Read More on btcc.net

BTCC : MG Grabs The Manufacturer Lead

For the first time since the Donington Park event in 2013, MG/Triple Eight have taken the lead in the Manufacturer/Constructor standings ahead of Honda Team Dynamics.

Tordoff_071-720x400

It has been an incredibly close battle between the four manufacturer-backed cars so far this year, and now MG have moved ahead by just a single point.

With Honda having taken the past four consecutive Manufacturer’s titles, MG drivers Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff are on a mission in this, the third year of the MG6 racer, to snatch the crown from the new-for-2014 Honda Civic Tourers. The hatchback Civic model is a proven package, but with the switch to the larger Tourer this year there have been some new challenges for Team Dynamics to overcome. It didn’t take long, however, for the car to take its first podium in the hands of Matt Neal in the very first race of the year at Brands Hatch. Podiums soon became wins, as Shedden triumphed in the final race of the day at Donington Park, but the Pershore–based squad hasn’t had things entirely its own way.

Two podiums for Plato at Brands were followed up by a dominant display by Triple Eight three weeks later at Donington. A front-row lockout for Plato and Tordoff followed by 1-2s in both races was mightily impressive, but a strong race three for Honda just kept the Japanese marque in front.

With both Thruxton and Oulton Park balanced between the two works teams, Honda held a slender advantage coming into the BTCC’s sole trip to north Yorkshire. The MG pair had been fast at Croft in 2013 and were confident ahead of the weekend, and while they didn’t quite get the results anticipated, it was still enough to move them ahead in the race for manufacturer honours.

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