F1 star Bar­richello to re­turn to kart­ing

Subaru man Plato de­lighted with vic­tory in his 500th Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship race at Knock­hill

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

For­mer For­mula 1 driver Rubens Bar­richello will take part in the CIK-FIA World KZ Kart­ing Cham­pi­onship in Swe­den next month.

The 44-year-old races in the Stock Car V8 cham­pi­onship in Brazil but has spo­rad­i­cally raced karts since re­tir­ing from F1 at the end of 2011.

He fin­ished fourth in last year’s Ro­tax Max DD2 World Final.

Bar­richello, who will race for Birel ART in the cham­pi­onship that was won by Max Ver­stap­pen in 2013, said: “I am de­lighted to have ac­cepted the in­vi­ta­tion to be­come part of this great team.

“I am very much look­ing for­ward to rac­ing, when I was young I did not have many chances to com­pete in in­ter­na­tional races.

“It’s a great dream which is about to come true.

“I’m train­ing a lot and my com­mit­ment is 100 per cent, just like on the eve of a For­mula 1 grand prix.”

Ja­son Plato says that tak­ing vic­tory in his 500th Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship race at Knock­hill on Sun­day was a spe­cial mo­ment in his ca­reer.

The Team BMR Subaru Levorg driver started from pole po­si­tion in the race and fended off his ri­vals for his 49th ca­reer vic­tory.

The 48-year-old fol­lowed that up with two third place fin­ishes to be the week­end’s top scorer and he has now vaulted up to sev­enth in the points stand­ings, just 53 from the sum­mit.

The win was Plato’s first of the 2016 cam­paign with the rear-wheel-drive Levorg ma­chine.

The two-time cham­pion said that the land­mark was not part of his think­ing go­ing in to the meet­ing.

“The fact that it was a spe­cial race for me didn’t fig­ure in the prepa­ra­tions for the week­end at Knock­hill. That kind of thing isn’t usu­ally that im­por­tant to me, but when it hap­pened I re­alised how spe­cial it was.”

Plato joined the cham­pi­onship in 1997 as a works driver with the Re­nault team in a La­guna and he won his first race at the ninth meet­ing of the sea­son at Snet­ter­ton.

“It made me think back to the days when I was doorstep­ping Frank Wil­liams and try­ing to get my break with the Re­nault team. Things have gone a long way from there, and to be able to race at the front and win af­ter 500 rounds is a great acheive­ment. It does make me proud.”

Plato’s ri­val Matt Neal, who joined the BTCC in 1991, will reach the 600 race land­mark later in the sea­son.

Plato reached a mile­stone

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