Jason Plato has called on the organisers of the British Touring Car Championship to give more boost to the Subaru Levorg cars, despite qualifying in a season-best sixth on the grid whilst team-mate Colin Turkington took pole position.
Due to the Subaru running with a new engine to the BTCC, the Team BMR cars have been running at the base boost level for the first events of the season.
But Plato believes that series organisers TOCA need to give more boost to the estate cars, citing the lack of speed in sector two and three, where he was just 21st and 24th respectively, some 2.4 mph and 2.2 mph slower than the leading car.
“We’re still slow on the straights and we’re still at the bottom of the speed traps, and we need more power,” said Plato to TouringCars.Net. “If we had the same power as the others we’d be up the road.
“It’s clearly evident that we’re slow in the speed traps. There’s regulations in place to try and equalise all the engines and ours is the slowest of the lot. It can be fixed, we just need to turn the boost up.”
Despite claiming the lack of top speed, Plato remains confident that TOCA will address the current issue with the team’s straight-line speed.
“We’ve got the chassis sorted and now we can’t make the engine go any quicker, that’s down to the organisers. Those are the rules. The organisers will look at the straight-line speed and increase or decrease the boost depending on how we’ll we’re going.
“If you look at the speed traps you’ll see we’re at the bottom; that means we need more boost. We’ll be given it – how much we’ll have to see – but our pace over the year will improve because we’ll have an engine which is competitive.
“Forget the lap time, that’s irrelevant, it’s about straight-line performance. There’s a process to go through; the organisers need to build up a databank. Remember that this is the first time we’ve run this new induction system, so they need to see what that does, and they can see now that whilst we’ve got pace we’re 66 kg lighter than the other guys. That 66 kg should be worth around seven or eight tenths of a second around here. If you put the weight in, we’ll go back.
“The regulations are in place that after this weekend will give us some more boost.”
As well as claiming a lack of straight-line speed, Plato also lamented his race engineer Carlos [Carl Faux] coming on the radio on his final flying lap, disrupting his rhythm and leaving him in sixth for the first race.
“It’s frustrating for me, because I was three tenths up on my best lap, and Carlos – he’s never done it before – cracked open the radio just as I’m turning into Turn Six, and we lost the lap,” added Plato. “We would have been on pole by two tenths if my engineer had not cracked the radio open.
“I’m a bit disappointed to miss out on that because it was there – and the second half of the lap for us is the easy bit, the first half is the difficult bit. We got the first half nailed – purple, purple [sectors]. But the main thing is we’re up there and we’re doing good things.”