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Jason Plato: ‘Something’s happened with the car’

Jason Plato claims that something has “happened with the car” after the Team BMR driver could only manage 22nd in Knockhill British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) qualifying – the worst result of his 17-year career.

Plato, who has to carry a maximum 75 kg of success ballast for leading the championship heading to Scotland, was uncharacteristically off the pace in qualifying, despite having earlier lapped inside the top ten in second practice, when he was ninth quickest.

“It was completely off plan to be honest,” said Plato. “Something’s happened with the car – we don’t know what it is yet but I think it might be a damper. Something fundamental has happened because it was a completely different car to the one we had in free practice.

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“There was masses of understeer, I couldn’t go near any bumps which isn’t ideal around Knockhill. It’s a pain, but it is what it is.”

Plato plans to start from the pitlane for the first race as a result, with him aiming to once again secure pole position for race two by posting the fastest lap of the race – something he did to great effect at Croft in June.

“I’ll be starting from the pit lane, it’d be stupid to start from 22nd with 75kgs of ballast on board as I won’t be able to overtake,” added Plato. “We’re 16 points in the lead, at best Colin [Turkington] will take a few points out of me in race one, but what I need to do is put the soft tyres which we’re running, get some space, get a good lap time in and I’ll be right back up there. OK I’ve lost a few points, but that’s that.”

Plato’s team-mate and reigning champion Colin Turkington also struggled in qualifying, but nevertheless managed ninth on the grid for the opening race.

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