Mat Jackson ends BTCC break with Power Maxed Racing; Plato retained

Mat Jackson will make a return to the British Touring Car Championship this season, lining up with Power Maxed Racing to form a superteam alongside double champion Jason Plato

The pair, who were team-mates in an RML-run Chevrolet in 2009, will handle PMR's two-litre turbocharged Vauxhall Astras.

Jackson, a 31-time race winner, has not contested the championship since a contractual dispute between the factory Honda squad Team Dynamics and Motorbase Performance left him on the sidelines at the beginning of 2018.

Jackson said: "I have unfinished business in the British Touring Car Championship and it was critical for me to return with a top team, capable of mounting a consistent title challenge."

Between them, Plato and Jackson have a record of 128 BTCC victories, which will be more than any other line-up on the 2020 grid.

Jackson has raced in the top class of the BTCC for 11 seasons and was runner-up in the competition in his second season in 2008, when he was driving a family-run Jacksons M.Sport BMW 320si.

He was due to race with Motorbase in 2018 and had been confirmed as a driver with the Kent-based team, before an approach from Team Dynamics to replace the departing Gordon Shedden.

A row meant that he was left without a drive and Dynamics signed Dan Cammish instead.

"I may have been away from the series temporarily," added Jackson, "but thoughts of winning the BTCC were never far away.

"I have received a number of offers during the last two years, but [Power Maxed Racing's team principal] Adam [Weaver] has worked tirelessly to make my return possible with PMR.

"The team continues to grow in stature, and I have no doubt that they are the team I need to be with, so when the opportunity came to join them and partner with Jason Plato again, I was not going to miss out."

The 2001 and 2010 champion Plato said that he was delighted to remain with Power Maxed Racing for a second season. He is chasing his 100th win in the category and currently stands on 97.

Plato finished seventh in the 2019 title chase and took his first overall race win for more than two seasons at the year's curtain-closer at Brands Hatch.

Last season, he was partnered with Rob Collard, whose BTCC future is unclear at this point.

Plato said he was pleased to be reunited with Jackson, and also added that he thought that he would be able to reach his special landmark victory this year.

Plato said: "It has been a while since I was this excited for the start of the season.

"PMR work unbelievably hard to provide me with the very best car, but also have a lot of fun doing it.

"Adam and [technical director] Martin [Broadhurst] have put a very special group of people together that are focused on winning the championship, whilst sensibly making sure they are also building a stable future in motorsport.

"This all helped me get my mojo back in 2019, and I want to reward them all with plenty more race wins. They will be the team I hit 100 wins with, I have no doubt.

"I am sorry to see Rob [Collard] leave, as last year was fun but, at the same time, I'm very happy about working with Mat again, and really look forward to seeing what we can achieve by working together."

Power Maxed Racing is entering its fourth season with the Astra, which was a winner in its second attack when both Senna Proctor and Josh Cook took victories.

2020 BTCC grid so far

Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R FK8 Matt Neal, Dan Cammish
WSR BMW 330i M Sport Colin Turkington, Andrew Jordan, Tom Oliphant
AmD Tuning Honda Civic Type R FK2 Jake Hill, Sam Osborne
BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R FK8 Tom Chilton, Josh Cook, Michael Crees
Power Maxed Vauxhall Astra Mat Jackson, Jason Plato
Motorbase Performance Ford Focus RS Rory Butcher, Ollie Jackson
Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 Ash Sutton, Aiden Moffat
Trade Price Cars Racing Bobby Thompson, James Gornall
Team Hard VW CC Mike Bushell, Jack Goff
Team Hard BMW 125i M Sport Carl Boardley
Ciceley Motorsport Adam Morgan, Daniel Rowbottom
Excelr8 Senna Proctor
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