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Jason Plato: ‘It’s important to never give up’

Jason Plato was pleased to cap a ‘frustrating weekend’ with victory in the final British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Rockingham.

Plato scored his first win since Oulton Park in June in the reverse-grid race after an entertaining battle with Speedworks’ Tom Ingram for much of the extended encounter.

That came in the context of a disappointing opening race where Plato was forced to pit on the opening lap, before a patient performance in race two saw him climb to seventh.

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The win – his fifth of the season – was also the Team BMR driver’s first race three win in more than three years since Croft in 2012, and speaking to TouringCars.Net, Plato underlined the importance of the result given a disappointing start to the day.

“It’s important to never give up in this game,” he said. “It’s been a frustrating weekend because we had real pace.

“We had pace in race two on the softs, we had real pace in race three and had the bit of bad luck not happened in race one, we would have had a podium – that changed the dynamic of the weekend.

“But it is what it is and we’ve come out and done the best job we could and had a great win in race three – it’s all to play for.”

Plato celebrates his win

Plato’s victory only looked secure as a second safety car returned to the pits, the double-champion having been forced to fight his way past Ingram’s Toyota who put up a stout defence of the lead for the majority of the race.

And Plato was full of praise for the 22 year-old – who secured a first podium in the series – having enjoyed their tussle.

“It was brilliant,” he exclaimed. “I’m not going to take any credit for Tom at all because he is a brilliant driver but it was a pleasure to work with him – he was our first golden boy, our first golden graduate in the KX Academy a few years ago.

“I’ve worked with him for two years and I knew he was special, not just in the car but out; he’s a professional.

“He drove beautifully, really beautifully and it was a brilliant race – I was proud to be a part of it.”

Plato’s race three win means there are now six points between championship leader Shedden and himself, having relinquished the lead after race one.

But the 47 year-old was in bullish mood about his chances in the championship race, with Silverstone – a traditionally strong circuit for the Volkswagen – and Brands Hatch still to come.

“What is it, six points? It’s nothing, is it?” he said of Shedden’s championship lead. “We’re going to two circuits next where we’ll be very strong – it’s game on.”

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