Power Maxed Racing’s Jason Plato is feeling confident of remaining “at the sharp end” of the British Touring Car Championship grid in qualifying at Silverstone after topping both practice sessions earlier today.
Plato has enjoyed strong practice form so far on the high-speed 1.64-mile Silverstone National layout, setting the benchmark from title contender Dan Cammish in both sessions.
He told TouringCars.Net he feels the Vauxhall Astra made significant progress when the series visited Thruxton for the second time, and carrying the same “philosophy” into Silverstone has allowed the car to be on the pace immediately.
“We made some progress at Thruxton, and I had a really good feeling in race three,” said Plato.
“We just chipped away and made the car friendly and stretchy – the grip was stretchy – and then Knockhill was such a different thing.
“We’ve arrived here and carried that philosophy on [from Thruxton], not the same setup, but the philosophy. Now we’re just trying to tickle, tickle, tickle and chip away.
“I’ve got a nice feel in the car, I can speak to it and ask it to do stuff without shouting at it, so we’re in good shape.”
With the Silverstone round synonymous with tight qualifying sessions, Plato believes he isn’t “home and dry” for pole position but remains confident of being towards the front of the grid for the opening race tomorrow.
“The Hondas always find pace for qualifying, they wind their engine up a bit,” he said.
“The BMWs will do the same, so we’re not home and dry but I’m confident we can be at the sharp end.
“Whether or not we could get pole – I don’t know – but that would be nice.”
With Plato enjoying a return to the sharp end of the grid on multiple occasions so far in 2019, he is keen to secure his first victory of the season as just six races remain, with a trio of contests at Silverstone before the same at the Brands Hatch season finale.
“Winning races is what turns me on,” Plato said.
“I think we had the chance to win three races this year, and I’ve made some mistakes and that’s screwed those chances up.
“It’s nice to be back in a competitive car, asking questions and getting straight answers.”
Qualifying for the opening British Touring Car Championship race from Silverstone is scheduled to get underway at 15:15 BST.