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Jason Plato predicts 'brilliant' BTCC season in 2014

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.

BTCC champions on 2014

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
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