Tag Archives: Jason Plato

BTCC

NEAL & SHEDDEN SHARE WINS AT OULTON PARK, SHEDDEN MOVES INTO CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD

Honda team-mates Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden shared the wins in three incident-packed Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Oulton Park today. And it is Scotsman Shedden who leaves the Cheshire circuit the new championship leader as the BTCC now heads to the challenging Croft circuit in North Yorkshire for its next three races of 2012 on the weekend of 23/24 June.

Jason Plato had set a qualifying lap record on Saturday to grab pole position on the starting grid for today’s first race but a problem with his KX Momentum Racing MG6 meant he never took the start. Neal took victory in his Yuasa Honda Racing Team Civic ahead of Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Racing Civic and Hampshire ace Robert Collard’s eBay Motors BMW.

It was then Shedden’s turn to win in race two as Lichfield’s Jordan took another second place finish. Plato, from the back of the grid, took third after a stunning drive through the pack while a career-best fourth was Fleet’s Daniel Welch in his Welch Motorsport Proton Persona.

In race three Neal won again, this time from Plato and Collard’s team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole. Another driver also celebrated his best result to date, namely Hereford’s Lea Wood who was fifth in his BINZ Racing Vauxhall Vectra.

As a result Fife racer Shedden tonight leads the title race by five points from Worcestershire team-mate Neal. Oxford’s Plato, who had led going into today’s three races, has fallen to third, seven points behind Neal.

“It’s been a very topsy-turvy day with no-one really able to put together three strong races and, if I’m honest, I’m a little surprised to be leading,” commented Shedden from Dalgety Bay. “I’ll take points on the board any day but it means my car will go into the Croft event with maximum ballast which will make it very tough to qualify well there.”

Reigning Champion Neal from Shenstone added: “I never expected a win at all today – I really thought Jason was going to have it his own way – so for two to come along is a real surprise. If he can have a problem, though, it just goes to show how quickly it can turn around and there’s still a very long way to go in the season.”

And said Plato: “After the non-start in race one it was all about damage limitation after that and that meant a few risks, but the race two result from the back of the grid was very enjoyable. Second in that third race was also very important as it keeps us right in the hunt going to Croft.”

Elsewhere Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team have increased their leads in the Manufacturers/Constructors and HiQ Teams championships. Jordan has moved into the lead of the Independent Drivers Trophy table. But it is Redstone Racing which continues to head the Independent Teams Trophy standings.

Meanwhile Nick Foster and Chris James each received official reprimands and two penalty points on their competition licences for collisions in Oulton’s first race, with Aron Smith and Tony Hughes respectively. Mat Jackson was identically punished after a collision with Robert Collard in race two and received the same again following a clash with Daniel Welch in race three.

BTCC

POLE POSITION
FOR PLATO AT OULTON PARK
 

Jason Plato set a qualifying lap record to grab pole position for the first of tomorrow’s three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire.

Plato left it right until the end of a highly exciting session to post a best time of 1m26.872s in his KX Momentum Racing MG6 and pip arch rival Matt Neal to pole by just 0.077s. Neal’s time of 1m26.949s in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Civic was also beneath the old record.

So too were the times set by Robert Collard, third in his eBay Motors BMW and Andrew Jordan, fourth in his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic.

Significantly, all these times were set in less than ideal track conditions with a number of damp patches still on the circuit. Furthermore, championship leader Plato’s time was set in a car carrying the maximum 45kgs of success ballast.

The former double Champion from Oxford commented: “I put the team under a bit of pressure in that session – I ran wide at Lodge corner on my first run and on my second was off the track and through the puddles at Cascades. It all came down to that final run – Matt had just set a very good time but we thought it still might just be possible so it was all or nothing on that last lap.”

Worcestershire’s Neal, the reigning Champion, added: “I was on track at the end and I knew Jason was as well – I was sure he had something up his sleeve and suddenly the team started telling me over the radio he was setting best sector times. I was warming up a new set of tyres for what was going to be my final run but couldn’t get across the line in time to respond.”

And said Hampshire’s Collard: “I’m very happy with third. All I need now is one of my demon starts tomorrow but it’s a very narrow circuit at Oulton – I went from fifth to first at Donington Park but whether I can squeeze between Jason and Matt at the start here… I think that gap might close very quickly.”

Neal’s team-mate Gordon Shedden was fifth fastest while, just a few places behind, Daniel Welch qualified a career-best eighth in his Welch Motorsport Proton Persona. 

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: btccmedia

WINS FOR JACKSON & SHEDDEN AT WET & WILD THRUXTON AS PLATO HOLDS ON TO POINTS LEAD

Warwickshire’s Mat Jackson and Fife’s Gordon Shedden, the latter with a victory double, shared the wins in today’s three rain-soaked Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the high-speed Thruxton circuit in Hampshire.

Oxford’s Jason Plato continues to lead the points table but only just from new second-placed man Shedden as Britain’s premier motor racing championship now heads to the spectacular Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire for its next three races on the weekend of 9/10 June.

Staffordshire’s Andrew Jordan had headed Saturday’s qualifying session to line up on pole position for the first of today’s races. But it all went wrong for the Pirtek Racing driver at the first bend as his Honda Civic tangled with Plato’s MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 and crashed.

This left the way clear for Jackson to reel off his second win of the season in his Redstone Racing Ford Focus ahead of Inverness’s Dave Newsham in his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra and Plato. Newsham’s second place was the best of his career so far. Having started from lowly 18th and 19th spots after a disastrous qualifying session, Shedden and team-mate Matt Neal, the reigning Champion, were sixth and tenth.

Shedden was unstoppable in race two as he quickly made up positions to pass Jackson for the lead and a comfortable win. Plato took second ahead of Jackson in third. Neal was fifth. In race three Shedden and Neal then simply romped clear of the opposition to give Honda a dream 1-2 result. Third, adding to earlier fifth and fourth place results, was the impressive Frank Wrathall in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis. Plato was fourth.

As a result, Plato leaves Thruxton holding a four-point lead from the charging Shedden. Next up are Neal, Jackson and Hampshire’s Robert Collard who, on his home track, took a fourth and two seventh places today in his eBay Motors BMW.

Plato enthused: “We’ve had zero running in the wet before with the MG so to take away a big points haul on a rainy day is very pleasing. We’ve got a big test programme planned between now and Oulton which should really enable us to make big gains with the car.”

Dalgety Bay’s Shedden, who also set the fastest lap in all three races at Thruxton, added: “Two wins at Donington a fortnight ago and another two wins today… it’s been a mega weekend, even if qualifying didn’t go our way. The Civic’s chassis really came into its own today in the wet and round the fast corners but it’s still early days.”

And commented Droitwich Spa’s Neal: “It’s been a bit of a scruffy day for me so to get on the podium in the third race was a good way to finish – and of course it’s another great result for Honda. The main thing is I’ve come away still in the hunt but it’s extremely competitive out there.”

Jackson, from Henley in Arden, said: “The conditions today haven’t been ideal for the Focus which runs a slightly smaller tyre compared to the Honda and MG so I’m delighted by what we’ve achieved today. It’s all about consistent scoring and not letting the others escape at this stage.”

Meanwhile, Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team have extended their respective leads in the Manufacturers/Constructors and HiQ Teams championships respectively. Jackson and Redstone Racing have taken over at the top of the Independent Drivers and Teams standings.

Elsewhere, two drivers were today penalised for on-track incidents. Redstone Racing’s Liam Griffin was handed a time penalty in race three which relegated him from 11th to 12th place while team-mate Aron Smith was officially reprimanded and had two penalty points added to his competition licence for an incident in the previous round at Donington Park.

Motorsports Mondial

PLATO SEIZES EARLY POINTS LEAD AFTER SHARING BRANDS HATCH WINS WITH COLLARD & NEAL

 Robert Collard, Matt Neal and Jason Plato shared the wins in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s first three races of 2012 today at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent. A win for double Champion Plato in race three – notably also for the famous MG badge on its return to the championship – means he leads the standings as the title race now moves to Donington Park in Leicestershire in a fortnight (14/15 April).

Dave Newsham had qualified on a career-first pole position for the opening race but his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra crashed out in a tangle with Plato’s new MG KX Momentum Racing MG6. This enabled Collard’s eBay Motors BMW to sneak through for victory. Finishing second and third were Neal’s new Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civic and Collard’s team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole.

Neal then came out on top of a long tussle with Plato to win race two – the first victory for a car built to the BTCC’s latest ‘Next Generation Touring Car’ technical regulations. In fact it was an NGTC ‘1-2-3’ as Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Racing Honda Civic was second after muscling past Plato’s MG in the closing laps. Meanwhile there was a lucky escape for Nick Foster who rolled his eBay Motors BMW onto its roof.

Plato’s victory in race three – which increased his career record tally of wins to 69 – came after he turned the tables on Jordan by passing him for the lead at mid-distance. Jordan took second ahead of Newsham who, after his race one disappointment, ended the day on a high with a maiden podium result. Significantly the race needed to be re-started after a multiple pile-up shortly after the original start forced a red flag stoppage.

The results mean Oxford’s Plato takes away a slender lead to Donington Park (14/15 April) with Worcestershire’s Neal, Staffordshire’s Jordan and Hampshire’s Collard in hot pursuit.

“We honestly never expected this so soon so we’re all cock-a-hoop,” enthused Plato. “I must take my hat off to my team – I’m just a small part of it all and they have worked their socks off to get this car ready. It’s still way off being fully sorted so I’d imagine the rest of the pit lane is probably feeling a bit scared…”

Neal commented: “It’s great that the new Honda has shown race-winning pace on its debut but I don’t think I’ve started a season before when the competition has been so fierce. The BMWs were on fire and Jason and that MG also look like they might take a bit of catching. We can’t afford to leave any stone unturned.”

Jordan added: “Any other day I’d be very pleased with two seconds but I’m slightly disappointed that the win got away from me in race three – it’s certainly got me fired up for my home event at Donington. The main thing, though, is we’ve come away from the first round with a decent points haul.”

Collard, who backed up his race one win with a pair of sixths, said: “I’m delighted with the win so a bit disappointed to be off the podium in the next two races but at least we’re in the hunt from the off.”

Having dominated 2011’s Manufacturers/Constructors Championship, Honda/Dynamics find themselves trailing MG/888 after Brands Hatch’s three races. And it is Pirtek Racing, thanks to Jordan and team-mate Jeff Smith’s combined efforts, which has stolen an early lead in the HiQ Teams Championship. Jordan and Pirtek also lead the Independent drivers and teams’ standings respectively.

Elsewhere, officials fined Robert Collard (£500) and Jason Plato (£750) and put three penalty points on both drivers’ competitions licences following on-track incidents. The Honda Yuasa Racing Team’s Gordon Shedden was also excluded from race three’s results after his team carried out unauthorised work on his car during a red flag period.