Plato: Two year BTCC win drought ending like a monkey off the back

Jason Plato says breaking his two year win drought in the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend was "a bit of a monkey off the back"

Plato: Two year BTCC win drought ending like a monkey off the back

The two-time series champion scored his first victory since joining Power Maxed Racing and returning to drive a Vauxhall Astra - the same model line with which he won the 2001 title - in the last race of the weekend at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

Plato's 97th BTCC win sets him up to become the first driver to score a century in the series' history, but in 2018 he recorded his first ever winless season, having made his debut in 1997 in a year when he earned two wins.

He said that a composed 0.958-second win over Rory Butcher in race three at Brands had relieved the pressure on him and the team.

"We had the run there," he said.

"The car was great and we sat and thought about it for this [race], the slick [tyre] race with the soft [compound Dunlops], and we made a couple of small changes which we thought would work and my car was great."

Plato has twice had to serve drivethrough penalties this season for parking up at the end of the green-flag lap with his car overstepping the grid box.

He also lost a potential race three at Snetterton when he made contact with former Subaru team-mate Ash Sutton, handing the lead to Butcher.

"It is great because we have had the pace this year and I have made a couple of mistakes with parking issues," Plato quipped.

"It is a bit of a monkey off the back but I have had such a brilliant year and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself.

"My mojo is back and I am back in the [TOCA stewards] bus getting told off, so that means I am competitive again.

"It is a nice way to end the year."

Now 52-years-old, Plato became the oldest driver to win a BTCC race, but reckoned he could continue to be competitive next season having identified areas to improve the Astra.

"We can start to think about lifting the team again now," he said.

"We need to develop our own engine, we need to get some more investment.

"Now the work starts for next year.

"We want to come back in 2020 and kick some butt."

While all parties have remained discreet about details, Plato said he felt hamstrung during his time at Team BMR.

He scored just two victories in three seasons after the team's switch from a Volkswagen CC to the Subaru Levorg GT. During that time, his team-mate Sutton won the 2017 BTCC title.

"People said I was too old but I knew different, I was just in the wrong team," Plato added.

"I was getting had over by the team. Give me a car that is competitive, and I can perform."

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