Double British Touring Car Champion Jason Plato will race for Power Maxed Racing in the 2019 BTCC, returning to front-wheel drive machinery and reuniting with Vauxhall for the first time since 2001.
Plato has been the subject of much speculation during the off-season, and he joins the team after spending four years at Team BMR, including three in rear-wheel drive Subaru machinery.
The announcement marks a major coup for the relatively young PMR team as it signs the BTCC’s most successful driver in terms of race wins, with Plato also having lifted the 2001 and 2010 titles outright.
“The signing of a proven Champion and race winner fits perfectly with our stated ambition to win the Championship in our fifth season,” said Team Principal Adam Weaver. “Can we do it?
“We are under no illusions that the series will be tougher than ever in 2019, but we are putting the ingredients in place and are up for the challenge.”
Plato cites the experienced team behind the outfit, including Team Manager Martin Broadhurst, as part of the reason why he believes the team can challenge at the front consistently in 2019.
“Although they finished tied second on points in the Team’s Championship last season, PMR is still a relatively young outfit in the BTCC,” said Plato, who is heading into his 21st BTCC season.
“However, there is a strong team of very experienced and talented personnel behind the scenes; working incredibly hard to make sure they can continue to challenge at the front from the season off.
“Their collective ambition, motivation and desire to win their first championship made this the perfect opportunity for me.
“The decision for me to get involved with PMR just became easier and easier the more time I spent with them. It’s an incredible team of people, many I’ve worked with before and very successfully too, like Martin Broadhurst – the Team Manager.
“It’s something very serious that Adam [Weaver] has put together at PMR. He’s not playing, it’s clear his intention has never ever been to make up the numbers, he wants to win, as do I!”
The team have carried out an ‘extensive winter development program’ and are planning to reveal the identity of Plato’s team-mate within the next week.
“With significant developments in carefully selected areas it will certainly help us build upon a very successful 2018 season,” added Weaver. “After signing another proven driver, this time a multiple championship winner with 97 race wins, we are understandably extremely positive about the season ahead – here’s to getting him to 100.”
Team Manager Broadhurst previously worked with Plato at Triple Eight Racing and is looking forward to reuniting with the 51-year-old.
“Working with Jason again is something I’m very excited about – it’s difficult not to be,” added Broadhurst. “He’s had the most race wins in the history of the championship which certainly makes him our most successful driver signing.
“This brings new and added pressures in terms of our performance, but we are ready for the challenge.”