MG KX Momentum Racing secured two podium finishes at today’s three rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Oulton Park, after a somewhat bitter sweet day for the team.
Race One of the day showed how cruel Motorsport can be. After a brilliant Pole Position yesterday Jason Plato suffered a suspension issue on his way to the grid, robbing him of the chance to fight for victory. It was a double blow as it also meant Jason started Race Two from the back of the grid. The silver-lining was that Andy Neate produced his strongest performance of the season to-date, charging through from his 12th place on the grid to score solid points in 7th.
It was all change for Race Two as the bad luck switched to Andy’s side of the garage. After a promising start to the race, a technical failure unfortunately caused him to retire. The size of the task facing Jason Plato was enormous. However, unperturbed he set about battling past the cars in front of him one by one. Incredibly, with three laps to go he had caught Daniel Welch in third place and passed the Proton as they crossed the start/finish straight to secure his sixth podium of the season.
For Race Three the top nine cars on the grid were reversed, meaning Jason lined up on the grid in 7th. He made steady progress in what proved to be a stop/start race that was interrupted by two lengthy Safety Car periods, following on-track incidents. In the closing stages the front four including the two Honda’s, Onslow-Cole’s BMW and Jason’s MG6 battled closely for the lead, with Plato eventually finishing second to record a podium double for the day and secure the team’s seventh podium finish of the 2012 season.
Jason Plato (#99), BTCC Standings: 3rd – 161 points: “Being quickest all day yesterday and getting the pole, it was obviously disappointing to not even start Race One and it’s hurt our weekend. To start from the back of the grid in Race Two and get a podium and then a second in Race Three means we don’t need to be too disheartened. It’s a long year and we’ve scored some good points, onwards to Croft!”
Andy Neate (#49), BTCC Standings: 19th – 21 points: “We’ve had strong pace this weekend, which means the technical issues we’ve suffered are doubly frustrating. Having moved forwards in Race One to a solid seventh, I was confident we could continue that upward trend. Unfortunately the technical failures haven’t allowed us to do so, but that’s racing.”
Ian Harrison, Team Principal, BTCC Standings: Teams - 5th – 181 points, Manufacturers – 2nd - 284 points: “Another mixed day for MG KX Momentum Racing, where disappointingly we have failed to finish strongly with both our cars in each of the days three races here at Oulton Park. There was solid pace from both drivers throughout the weekend and some good results, but we want to start converting our potential into points finishes with both cars and we’ll be looking to do so from Croft onwards.”