The sun shone down on Snetterton and the MG KX Momentum Racing Team for rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, as the second half of the BTCC season got underway in Norfolk. Jason Plato started the second half of the campaign as he means to go on, as he cut the lead in the Driver’s championship down from 29 to 18 points.
Having missed out on Pole Position by a mere .015 of a second on Saturday, Jason Plato lined up on the front-row of the grid for Race One of the day alongside the Toyota of Frank Wrathall. Jason made a fantastic get-away to lead comfortably into the first corner. Jason then monitored his pace and after a brief battle with the Vauxhall of Newsham, cruised home for his third win of the 2012 season. Andy spent his race trying to recover some places after his poor qualifying position, but after becoming involved in some of the midfield battles, he failed to make the gains he was looking for.
Jason started Race Two from Pole Position, thanks to his Race One victory. However his MG6 was now laden with the maximum 45kg of success ballast; the only downside to collecting the winner’s trophy from Race One! Despite the extra weight, he drove cleanly away from the line to lead the early part of the race comfortably. As the race continued three Hondas closed him down and on the penultimate lap there was contact between Jason and his old foe Matt Neal. At the next corner with the positions reversed there was more contact between the two, which resulted in both cars running wide onto the grass, allowing the following Hondas of Jordan and Shedden through into the top two positions, where they would finish. Jason recovered from the grass to finish third and collect his second podium of the day.
The reverse grid for Race Three saw the top nine switched, this meant Jason started from seventh position. He drove a measured race to come through the field and finish 4th on the road, which then became third for a hat trick of podiums for the day, after Shedden’s Honda was excluded on a technical issue. With Matt Neal being tagged by the Toyota of Wrathall on the opening lap, it was job well done at Snetterton for Jason and the MG KX Momentum Racing team as the gap to the top of the championship closed.
Jason Plato, MG KX Momentum Racing #99. BTCC Standings: 3rd – 245 points:
“A pretty good day for us, I’m slightly frustrated as I feel Race Two should have been my second win of the day, but me racing against Matt often ends in tears, where perhaps it doesn’t with me and some other BTCC drivers. But looking at the bigger picture we’ve closed the gap in the championship to both Honda’s, so overall it’s been a great weekend!”
Andy Neate, MG KX Momentum Racing #44. BTCC Standings: 17th – 51 points:
“Today was a tough day for me; I didn’t ever quite get the car where I wanted it. After qualification we were always facing an uphill battle today and so it proved. Knockhill is only two weeks away though so I will go there looking for a stronger weekend.”
Ian Harrison, Team Principal. BTCC Standings: Teams: 4th – 292 points, Manufacturers: 2nd – 458 points:
“It’s been a solid weekend, not spectacular. Three podiums for Jason; you can’t really complain about that. It could have been even better with another win, but not too bad. On Andy’s car; he struggled a bit this weekend. The progress he did make was nullified when he got in a few scrapes. But we go to Knockhill now with plenty to play for.”