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BTCC's Jason Plato expects great things from Subaru

Thursday, March 30 2017

Double Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Jason Plato is brimming with confidence ahead of the new season, which gets underway at Brands Hatch this weekend (1/2 April).

After a season developing the Subaru Levorg, and a busy off-season refining the car, Jason is ready to challenge for the title this year, which marks the 20th anniversary of his BTCC debut. "Over the winter we've had a really great opportunity to sit, analyse, and look at everything," he explained.

"The car's been on a weight reduction programme, we've been running simulations and testing the damping and suspension, and now we've got a brilliant database of information, coupled with the fact our engine builders Mountune have found us a bit more power. When you add it all up we're in great shape. There's an inner quiet confidence within the team that we've done our homework and we've found genuine gains over the winter."

Also new for 2017 are team-mates Ash Sutton and Josh Price, who Jason is looking forward to working with. "I think it's going to be a much more harmonious team because everyone will be pulling in the same direction," he said. "Ash is going to be supremely quick; we know he is, Josh is a new lad and his task is simple: learn but keep it away from the fence. We're all set to rock and roll, I'm expecting great things from everybody this year."

Even with four Subarus on the grid, there are still a further 28 drivers to beat, and with half the field race-winners it will be a very tough season for everyone. "It's not an easy thing to win - I know that more than most," Jason quipped. "The mindset is simple; we've got a very good opportunity to win this year and what we must do is be mindful of that at all times, and try and bag points when they're there.

"Let's not kid ourselves, with the way that the weights work and the competitiveness of the field, it's going to be hard to score big points on every occasion. We've just got to keep racking points up, but winning races turns me on, that's what gets me out of bed each morning."

Such is the strength of the BTCC field this year, Jason isn't even prepared to bet on his closest rival. "Everybody is the enemy, no matter who they are," he said. "We will be in the fight with Honda, BMW and maybe the Fords, maybe the MGs, everybody on day one. Effectively the gun starts off as a blunderbuss and as the year goes on it turns into a rifle as the competition drops away for ultimate championship honours, but we respect everybody on the grid and we need to be mindful of everybody's performance.

"The most important thing is I know and I'm confident of this; if we just look internally, we do our job and everybody works as hard as they can, we have a great chance to win."

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 1/2 April are available from £27, with free entry for under-13s. For more information or to book, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.