PLATO PLOTS A BTCC TITLE PUSH
Jason Plato has targeted a championship victory in Subaru’s maiden season in the British Touring Car Championship this year.
The Japanese firm has linked up with Team BMR, which plans to operate four Levorg models in the tin-top category this season. They will be driven by champions Plato and Colin Turkington, while team owner Warren Scott and James Cole will drive the other two versions.
The car was present at the series’ media day at Donington Park last Tuesday but did not run due to some minor parts delays. The crew did manage to shake the car down at the Millbrook proving ground on Thursday last week.
“I will put my neck on the line and say that we will be winning races before half way though the year, and the championship is on my agenda this year,” said Plato. “If I don’t win the title, I will be pissed off. We will be going for it.”
The car’s designer Carl Faux is more cautious over the car’s potential: “We want to get this thing absolutely right. It is unrealistic to expect us to be winning right from the outset. We want to improve as a team and then hopefully we will be in a position to win regularly.
“If that means the first part of 2016 is spent nailing any reliability issues we have, then so be it.”
While Subaru missed the official test at Donington, the running was topped by three-time champion Matt Neal in his Team Dynamics-run Honda Civic Type R. He spent the day working with engineers from RML, which is providing all the new control parts for the championship. Neal set his time on his final run of the day, eclipsing Ash Sutton (MG6) and Rob Austin (Toyota Avensis).
“I did the last run with new tyres, and the car felt really good,” said Neal. “We were working hard with RML and the car improved over the course of the day. It was the best it had been so far and has given us plenty of optimism.”