Jason Plato feels vindicated by BTCC success with MG
|By Jamie O'Leary
||Friday, January 11th 2013, 12:30 GMT
Jason Plato believes that the success of his 2012 British Touring Car season with MG more than justified his decision to leave tin-top powerhouse RML.
Plato took his second BTCC crown with the RML-run works Chevrolet team in 2010, but left Ray Mallock's outfit last winter to front MG's first factory assault on the championship.
After winning the opening race of the season in an MG6 that was developed at short notice, he took the championship fight to the Hondas of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal down to the final round of the season.
Speaking at AUTOSPORT International on Friday, Plato said that although leaving RML represented a huge risk, he was always convinced that Triple 8, which runs the MG team, would allow him to challenge for victories during his return season.
"It took a brave decision to walk away from the environment I was in with RML and Chevrolet," said Plato on the AUTOSPORT Stage with KX.
"There was an element of risk and gamble in that, but I wouldn't have taken that decision for anyone other than Ian Harrison and the guys at Triple 8.
"I just had a feeling we were going to get the job. We were ahead of our planning. We didn't really expect to have so much pace from the car so early on.
"Our goal was to be competitive and start to look towards race wins towards the end of the year. So I'm fantastically pleased with what we achieved."
Plato believes that the only thing standing in the way between himself and a third BTCC title - 11 years after he won his maiden crown in a works Vauxhall run by Triple 8 - is the performance of his MG6 in wet conditions.
"That was the big weakness last year, but I can't remember another season in which there's been so much bad weather," he added.
"In the dry the MG was the machine to have, and the guys did a terrific job.
"To only get the car at 6am on qualifying day at the first round of the year, and then to win six races and fight for the championship was a very good performance.
"I really want that piece of silverware in my kitchen at the end of this year now."