Plato injured in filming incident

Jason Plato will race in the British Touring Car Championship title decider at Thruxton this weekend despite being hurt while filming for a television programme

Plato injured in filming incident

The SEAT driver sustained burns to both hands, his face and his neck when the Caparo T1 supercar he was testing for a motoring programme on British TV station Five burst into flames at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground.

Plato was taken to the nearby Market Harborough and District Hospital by former BTCC racer Phil Bennett, who was also present at the test. He was later transferred by ambulance to Kettering General Hospital and subsequently taken to the specialist burns unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, prior to being released the same evening.

The 39-year-old returned to hospital this morning for a further appointment with a burns specialist.

"We were testing the Caparo T1 for Fifth Gear, and we took it to Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, a private testing facility, which is common practice," Plato said.

"There was a slight loss of power, I looked in the mirror and saw some smoke, there was a slight smell of oil and then suddenly there was this intense heat. The car spontaneously erupted into a ball of flame and I was sat in the middle of a fireball. I hit the brakes, brought the car to a stop as quickly as I could and jumped out.

"We found the nearest hospital on our sat nav and Phil Bennett took me to the local A&E. I would very much like to thank Phil, all the staff at Market Harborough and District Hospital, Kettering General Hospital and Stoke Mandeville Hospital for all the excellent care and treatment they so quickly administered."

Plato has vowed that the injuries will not prevent him from defending his nine-point lead over title rival Fabrizio Giovanardi in this weekend's BTCC finale.

"The back of my neck is burnt and so are my face and hands. I obviously couldn't take my hands off the steering wheel whilst braking and my right hand is more badly burnt than my left," he said.

"I'll have to dig deep, but I'm still looking forward to the BTCC finale this weekend. It's been a hard-fought season and I've led the drivers' championship almost unbroken since winning the opening round, so this isn't going to stop me winning the title on Sunday."

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