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Jason Plato pleased to regain points lead

Jason Plato was delighted to leave Snetterton having regained the lead of the British Touring Car Championship standings, after bagging a hatful of points during Sunday’s three races.

The Team BMR driver scored a second, a third and a fourth at the Norfolk circuit, and now leads the drivers’ standings by 16 points from team-mate Colin Turkington, who won the first two races.

And speaking after the weekend’s final race, Plato was in bullish mood about his results, given the advantage that he was able to pull out during the weekend.

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“I’m really pleased,” said Plato of his haul. “In engineering terms that’s a delta gain of 26 points; we were 10 behind and now we’re 16 in front.

“The Hondas have imploded – that’s a shame, isn’t it? And Colin’s got himself up there in the championship, we’ve won another teams’ award; it’s going very well at the minute.”

Last year’s visit to Snetterton was where the debate on front- and rear-wheel drive parity first emerged, but a year on, Plato insisted the the issue still needs redressing.

“The BMW challenge is a concern because we’ve seen again today that they’re still too fast off the start,” he said. “You have to penalise the car, not poor performance; you can’t equalise poor starting performances by the drivers, you have to equalise what the car is capable of.

“Andy jumped a row or two today so that’s got to change. Looking forward [to] Rockingham, Silverstone, Brands Hatch GP – they’re all our circuits, but what we don’t is to out-perform the BMW in qualifying on weight and then have them past us at the start; that’s really not on.

“There’ll be a bit of lobbying going on, I’m sure.”

With a visit north of the border to Knockhill next on the calendar, the double champion felt it would be difficult for his team to repeat the dominance they had shown this weekend, but remained confident of a good showing.

“The BMWs are going to win, and they’re going to win all three races – if they don’t, they’ve underperformed, it’s a BMW circuit,” said Plato, when asked by TouringCars.Net about his chances at Knockhill. “We’ve got to make sure we’re best of the rest and I think we can achieve that.

“It’s s*** to go there with a championship lead because there’s 75 kilos on board – but of course there is the added benefit of leading the championship. We know we’re probably not going to win the races but it doesn’t mean to say we can’t come third or fourth. If we’re ahead of the rest, that’s all that matters.

“Looking at this weekend’s performance, weight-corrected I was the quickest – quicker than Colin – and there’s no reason why that can’t continue at Knockhill.”

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