Jason Plato predicts 'brilliant' BTCC season in 2014
|By Matt James||Tuesday, March 18th 2014, 14:37 GMT|
Jason Plato believes this year's British Touring Car Championship will provide some "brilliant" racing.
Seven champions will feature on the grid this season, including the returning Fabrizio Giovanardi in a Motorbase Ford Focus and Alain Menu in a BMR VW Passat.
Series bosses confirmed a 31-car line-up during the championship's pre-season press day on Tuesday.
MG driver Plato, who claimed the title in 2001 and '10, said: "It is going to be a brilliant season for the racing and there is a real buzz about the championship.
"It is tough enough as it is. I don't think it is going to be any tougher.
"Whilst Fabrizio Giovanardi and Alain Menu are world class drivers, they are going to take some time to get themselves in gear - probably Alain more so than Fabrizio, because he has a hill to climb with the team.
"But I am looking to having some great races with not just my old professional mates like Alain and Fabrizio, but everybody."
Plato won eight races last season and says that the Triple Eight team, which runs the MG6s, was working hard to iron out any reliability problems ahead of the new season.
"Had it not been for our DNFs last season - and we had far too many - we let it get away," he added.
"We lost wins through stuff going wrong. This is the last year of a three-year deal and we are better prepared than we have ever been. I would like to think we were in with a shout."
Confirmed 2014 British Touring Car line-up so far: Team Car Drivers Eurotech Honda Civic Andrew Jordan/Martin Depper Honda (Team Dynamics) Civic Tourer Gordon Shedden/Matt Neal MG (Triple Eight) MG6 J Plato/S Tordoff/M Hynes Ciceley Racing Mercedes A-class Adam Morgan Motorbase Performance Ford Focus F Giovanardi/J Clarke/M Jackson AmD Ford Focus Dave Newsham Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 Rob Austin/Hunter Abbott Welch Motorsport Proton Gen-2 Dan Welch/Ollie Jackson United Autosports Toyota Avensis James Cole/Glynn Geddie Rotek Racing Audi S3 Robb Holland Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis Simon Belcher Team BMR Vauxhall Insignia Jack Goff/Warren Scott Team BMR VW Passat CC Alain Menu/Aron Smith WSR BMW 125i M Sport C Turkington/R Collard/N Foster Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis Tom Ingram Houseman Racing Toyota Avensis Lea Wood Moffat Chevrolet Cruze Aiden Moffat BTC Chevrolet Cruze Chris Stockton