MG-Triple Eight-Jason Plato. Sounds like a pretty promising combination for the British Touring Car Championship, doesn't it? The Chinese-owned firm will push hard to re-establish the marque in the UK; it just seems right to have Triple Eight involved in a works programme; and Plato will get his hands on a turbocharged engine after all the equalisation controversy of 2011.
It's difficult to know exactly what the team is capable of in the short-term. There isn't much time left before the Brands Hatch opener on April 1 to build the cars, let alone get them out testing. And there's also the TOCA engine that the MGs will use in 2012. Last year the Swindon-built unit proved solid, but was gradually left behind by the Neil Brown-prepared turbos in the Hondas and the Mountune engines in the Fords.
But few are in any doubt about the longer-term prospects. Plato has already said he expects race wins in the first year and, with his and Triple Eight's record, it's easy to see that happening. It's also worth remembering that the teams that ran NGTC cars last year - and which therefore have a headstart - have less overall BTCC experience and fewer resources than the MG KX Momentum Racing team (as it will be officially known). They will be caught quickly.
Plato won the 2001 title in works Vauxhall run by Triple Eight... © LAT
Obviously there are no question marks when it comes to the lead driver either. Plato, who will be joined by Andy Neate at the team, can be relied upon to get the best out of the car when it isn't quite there, and delivering race wins when it is.
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