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Plato calls for Subaru boost increase at Snetterton

Thursday, July 28 2016

Double Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Jason Plato is in fighting form ahead of this weekend's (30/31 July) Snetterton rounds, and is calling on the series organisers to give his Subaru team more power.

Jason is on the verge of his first victory of the season, having come close at Oulton Park and Croft, where the Subaru Levorg was transformed from a backmarker to pace-setter. Team-mate Colin Turkington has already powered the boxer-engined car to two pole positions and race wins, and Jason is poised to add to his remarkable 94-win record.

Jason always knew that the team was onto a winner with the Levorg. "I wouldn't say it's a remarkable turnaround," Jason said of the transformation. "We knew what we had but we just had to go through a bit of pain. I guess we were doing our laundry in public and that our target was to get everything tested pre-Oulton Park.

"We're in good shape actually; the car, our basic setups are good and we've got a really nice balance on it. But we're nowhere down the straights, and that's not for us to sort, that's for the organisers."

All BTCC engines are managed by series organisers TOCA, by controlling turbo boost pressure to ensure close competition. Ahead of Oulton Park, Subaru was permitted to change a vital engine part in exchange for a drop in boost, however Jason feels that this is penalising the team.

"We've got the best chassis in the business and we're slow down the straights and there's nothing more we can do," he said at the recent Snetterton test, where the Subarus ran outside the top ten on all but one session. "It's down to TOCA, but we've got to trust that they will do the right thing and give us some horsepower, because they've given it to other people.

"It concerns me slightly that we're being penalised because we've got two great drivers, and great engineers and the best car on the grid. So what next - we make further gains and they turn our engines down even more? This is a two-and-a-half million pound project and then you've got a car which is five years old, and it's got 40 horsepower more than us. Is that really right? No it's not."

Nevertheless, the Subaru Levorg has topped qualifying at the last two meetings, and could well do this again this weekend, especially as the team's drivers are outside the championship top ten, and therefore free of success ballast for the session.

Jason doesn't quite see it that way, however. "We've only just got pole, but we're 75 kilos lighter than [championship leader] Sam Tordoff," he said. "What happens when they put the weight in us? We're getting bored of being treated unfairly - very much like Honda, actually."

At least there's one area in which Jason has sympathy with arch-rivals Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden. There's nothing more determined than a fired-up Jason Plato, so whilst he may not feel his car will be the class of the field this weekend, he'll be doing whatever it takes to drag it to the sharp end of the grid.

Tickets for the BTCC at Snetterton on 30/31 July are available on the gate for £15 on Saturday and £33 on Sunday, with free admission for under-13s. For more information call our sales team on 0843 453 9000 or click here.