Tag Archives: Honda Yuasa Racing

BTCC

PLATO ON POLE AT SILVERSTONE AS HONDA RIVALS STRUGGLE
 
Jason Plato has taken pole position in this afternoon’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Silverstone as points leader Gordon Shedden struggled in a lowly 19th.
 
Oxford’s Plato took his fifth pole of the season – also his third in a row – with a best lap of 58.717s in his KX Momentum Racing MG6. That is a new BTCC qualifying lap record around Silverstone’s 1.64-mile National circuit.
 
Warwickshire’s Mat Jackson was second fastest in his Redstone Racing Ford Focus which had been repaired following a practice session prang and Lancashire’s Frank Wrathall third in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis.
 
Robert Collard’s eBay Motors BMW, Dave Newsham’s Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra and Daniel Welch’s Welch Motorsport Proton Persona were next up to make it six different makes of car in the top six.
 
But the two championship leaders Shedden and Matt Neal in their factory Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civics were in major trouble. Neal, the reigning Champion, was only tenth and Shedden a disastrous 19th on a circuit that both had already hinted would be difficult for them because of their car’s lack of straightline speed.
 
Fife’s Shedden will go into tomorrow’s three races three points ahead of Neal with Plato a further 29 back and a possible maximum of 67 available. Andrew Jordan, 11th in his Pirtek Racing Honda, Collard and his team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole who was eighth in qualifying plus Jackson all still have a chance of winning this year’s title as well.
 
Plato commented: “Gordon only 19th – that’s a shame, isn’t it? You shouldn’t wish ill on your rivals… but I do. Hopefully the conditions will stay dry for tomorrow because clearly we’re in great shape and a good points haul will really make this championship come alive for us. Things have a way of evening themselves out and maybe here it’s our turn after some bad luck.”
 
A dejected Shedden, from Dalegty Bay, added: “We knew this was going to be our bogey circuit but we didn’t expect it to be this bad – the pace simply isn’t there. As the championship leader I’ve also got to start the first race tomorrow carrying maximum success ballast in my car. The only positive from that session is that it’s over.”
 
Meanwhile Jackson was delighted with not only his best qualifying performance so far in 2012 but also the best yet for his squad’s new NGTC-spec Focus. He enthused: “It’s going really well this weekend despite the off earlier in practice. The gap to Jason is quite large when you look at how close it is behind but the Focus is the only other car to get into the 58-seconds bracket and we’re learning all the time. I’m feeling good about tomorrow.”
 
Wrathall, who turned 26 earlier in the week, said: “I’m delighted with third. It’s such a tight lap with each place decided by the tiniest fractions so it’s important we qualified well.”
 
Tomorrow’s three races will be shown live as part of a mammoth seven-hour broadcast (11.00am-6.00pm) on the ITV4 and ITV4 HD channels plus the www.itv.com website.

BTCC

PLATO SETS QUALIFYING LAP RECORD
ON WAY TO ROCKINGHAM POLE POSITION
 
Jason Plato has taken his fifth pole position of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season in qualifying at the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire.
 
Plato set a new qualifying lap record with a time of 1m22.448s in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6. That was more than six tenths of a second clear of the Honda Yuasa Racing Team’s Gordon Shedden who was next up but, by comparison, a mere 0.014s ahead of third-placed Andrew Jordan in his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic.
 
Mat Jackson produced a late spurt of speed to qualify fourth fastest in his Redstone Racing Ford Focus. Plato’s and Shedden’s team-mates Andy Neate and Matt Neal were fifth and sixth. It is worth pointing out that Neal, the reigning Champion and current points leader, is racing this weekend in pain with a broken hand and his car in qualifying was carrying the maximum 45kgs of success ballast.
 
Oxford’s Plato commented: “From the moment I put my bum in the car this morning it’s felt great – we’ve really moved it on but the job’s only half done. It’s important I convert pole into a win or two tomorrow as I really need to take a bite out of the Honda drivers in the championship.”
 
Shedden added: “I’m both happy and disappointed. On one hand as a team we’ve got an awful lot out of the car in qualifying. The lap time I’ve done is a second faster than pole in 2011 but I’m still over six tenths off pole – another six tenths cover second down to 11th! Jason obviously got one heck of a lap out of it, but tomorrow is very different with race tactics such as tyre management coming into it…”
 
And said Jordan: “It was a pretty uneventful session for me. I only did one flying lap and was quite happy with the time so decided save some fresh sets of tyres for tomorrow’s races – it a very abrasive circuit here after all. There was no point trying to challenge Jason as it was never going to happen.”
 

Meanwhile there was an impressive performance from newcomer Howard Fuller, 14th fastest in Team HARD.’s Honda Civic and just a second away from Shedden’s front-row time

BTCC

WRATHALL PIPS PLATO FOR CAREER FIRST
BTCC POLE POSITION AT SNETTERTON…
 
Frank Wrathall has spectacularly taken the first pole position of his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship career at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.
 
The 25-year-old from Preston achieved pole in a time of 1m57.595s in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis to pip former double Champion, Oxford’s Jason Plato in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 by just 0.015s.
 
Wrathall’s pole is the first for a Toyota driver in the BTCC since 1993 and also a qualifying record for the championship around the Snetterton track.
 
Inverness’s Dave Newsham was also close to pole, just 0.054s away from Wrathall in third in his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra.
 
An elated Wrathall said: “That was very close as Jason and I were trading fastest times but in the end I came out on top. I’d come back into the pit lane and knew he was out there giving it one final go, but it seems he made a mistake and went off the track – when the team told me I was shouting a lot in the car! To beat a driver of his stature makes it all the more rewarding and I’m delighted.”
 
Plato replied: “Congratulations to Frank – it’s always nice to see a young driver doing well, even if it is at my expense! The important thing is I’m ahead of the two drivers I’m chasing for the title and from here can start thinking about taking points back off them.”
 
And added Newsham: “Finally the Vectra feels like it did back at the start of the season when I had three really strong opening events. From what we’ve seen in the earlier practice sessions our tyre wear rate is also excellent so I’m hoping for three very strong races tomorrow.”
 
There were career-best qualifying results, too, for Preston’s Adam Morgan and Fleet’s Daniel Welch – a fine fifth and sixth fastest in their Speedworks Motorsport Toyota and Welch Motorsport Proton respectively.
 
But there were major frustrations for the two championship leaders, Honda Yuasa Racing Team team-mates Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden. Worcestershire’s Neal was a lowly seventh by his standards and Fife’s Shedden 22nd and last after on-going problems with his Civic – which had suffered a major fire in practice this morning – prevented him from setting a time.
 
Elsewhere Warwickshire’s Mat Jackson, another of the championship’s top names, qualified the Redstone Racing team’s all-new Ford Focus ST an encouraging 16th fastest on its debut. The Focus, only completed at 7.00am, becomes the seventh different make of car to be built to the BTCC’s new and much-applauded NGTC regulations…