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Jason Plato calls for sensible approach after front-row lockout

Jason Plato has stressed the need for himself and Team BMR team-mate Ash Sutton to keep a level head whilst disputing the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Croft.

The Subaru pairing locked out the front row of the grid in their best showing of 2018 to date, split by a mere 0.1 seconds.

That result came despite soaring water temperatures on board Plato’s Levorg, with the double champion using up another Swindon-built engine during the thirty-minute session.

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An upturn in fortunes for the Buntingford-based team has come about with a revised aerodynamic package on the front end, improved engine performance and reliability and a minimal boost increase from series organisers TOCA.

Speaking to shortly after qualifying, Plato also pointed to the need to deliver on the faith of their sponsors and investors after a difficult start to the campaign.

“We need to be sensible,” said Plato. “There’s no point in two cars duelling, because the down side is huge.

“I’m very aware that the lack of performance has cost valuable exposure from sponsors, so there’s some pressure there to deliver and make sure we provide a return.

“And that’s probably more important to me than it is to anyone else in the team. For that reason, we’ll be sensible, but last time I looked, it’s impossible for me to win the championship, and that’s all I’m interested in.

“So if that’s impossible for me, I want wins. And, actually, it’s impossible for Ash [Sutton] to win, we just don’t have the performance advantage or a car we can just turn the wick up on like it appears the BMWs can.

“We’re just going out for some race wins, to spray some champagne and kiss some pretty girls.”

The 96-time BTCC race winner is also only interested in adding to that tally, with the championship mathematically unlikely at this stage of the season.

“I couldn’t give a f*ck about that. We’re nowhere – I’ve not got one point. It’s about winning races, that’s all it is.

“It’s just nice to be back in a car where we’ve got some performance. We are on the edge, engine-wise. I’ve probably done more motors this year than I’ve had sex.”

Plato is also of a similar opinion to Sutton with regards to their performance translating to other circuits, but believes with stable reliability and the current level of performance, Team BMR are in a position to be competitive again.

“I think this circuit is particularly friendly to rear-wheel drive cars. All things being equal, we should be five tenths up the road – we’ve got no weight – but we’re not.

“The most important thing is I’m in a position where I can enjoy it again. If it lasts then great, if it doesn’t…

“I think Snetterton will be hard because of the straights. Knockhill we should go well, because we’re rear-wheel drive and we’ve got the car working well now.

“I think provided we can keep reliability or improve it and maintain this level of performance then, yeah, I think we can be competitive.”

The opening race gets underway at 12:05 BST today [24th June].

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