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Race three will present a ‘true picture of engine performance’ predicts Plato

Subaru’s Jason Plato is predicting that Sunday’s double-length ballast-free British Touring Car Championship race at Snetterton will show the true performance of the engines in the field.

Plato and team-mate Ash Sutton have struggled for pace throughout much of the first half of the season, save for a resurgent weekend at the rear-wheel drive-friendly Croft circuit, where the duo scored a 1-2 finish in the first race of the day.

But Snetterton presents an entirely different challenge for the team, with the circuit featuring two long straights and the track has tended to favour cars with strong engine packages in the past.

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The two-time champion points to the ‘diamond double’ final race of the weekend as being a contest which will likely show the true performance of each car on the grid, with the race being run to twice the distance and with the field running ballast-free.

Plato also expects the rear-wheel drive cars to benefit from the reduced tyre wear, with the BMWs being his pick of the best due to their drivetrain layout and strong engine package.

“The rear wheel drive cars wear out all four tyres more evenly, whereas they [front-wheel drive cars] tend to wear out just the fronts,” said Plato to the Adrian Flux blog.

“If the fronts start to go your performance drops off a cliff, so I’m predicting front wheel drive cars will struggle, rear wheel drive do better because of physics.

“Everybody will be running base weight, with no success ballast, so it will really show how quick people are down the straights.

“That race will be a really true picture of people’s engine performance… My elbows will be out as far as I can get them out.”

Plato is predicting that the Snetterton weekend could be a struggle for the team, after the relative highs of the Croft performance before the mid-season break.

“Take the perfect storm away, go to a circuit less rear wheel drive friendly, less abrasive tarmac, not as grippy, with really long straights and a lot of medium-to-slow speed exits and we may struggle to do the lap time.”

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