Jason Plato has been a familiar face on the British Touring Car grid for sixteen years winning two championships in that time – 2001 and 2010 – as well as being right in the thick of the fight many other years as well, including this season. He currently drives for the MG KX Momentum Racing team but in the past has driven for the likes of William-Renault, Vauxhall, Seat and RML. This week’s Scrutineering is taking a closer look at Plato, his BTCC career, his season so far, and what the fans like/say!
1997 – 1999
Plato made his British Touring Car Championship debut with Williams-Renault in 1997 and impressed by taking pole position in his first race. He finished the season in third place in the championship. In his following two seasons he finished in fifth place with numerous podiums to his name.
2000 – 2001
In 2000 Plato made the move to Vauxhall finishing fifth in the championship once again. In 2001 he won the championship beating Yvan Muller by a comfortable 18 points .
2004 – 2008
After a brief hiatus from the championship in 2002 and 2003, Plato returned to the touring car grid in 2004 with SEAT. During his time away he raced in ASCAR and started presenting Channel 5′s 5th Gear. He got two third place, two second place and one fifth place finish in the championship during his time with SEAT, although the second title alluded him.
2009 – 2011
In 2009 Plato joined RML which became Silverline Chevrolet in 2010, where he finally took championship number two. He beat Matt Neal, with whom he has a particular rivalry as the pair have fought closely (at times too closely) during races. In 2011 he finished third in the championship, but at the end of the year Chevrolet announced their departure from the sport.
MG KX Momentum Racing were a late entry to the 2012 BTCC, running an MG, and they announced a line-up of Plato partnering Andy Neate. Plato displayed his skill at the opening weekend of this year by taking two podiums – including a win – on the car’s debut. He has taken nine podiums so far this year, including three wins, keeping himself right in the championship hunt.
Pole positions: 2
Race wins: 3
Point Finishes: 13
What the fans like/say
- The fact he has his own sandwich – yum!
- His rivalry with Matt Neal – there is always excitement and sparks flying
- Tells it like it is
- He is a good driver
- His antics in 5th Gear with Tiff
- His ‘do or die’ driving style – it might get him in trouble sometimes, but it’s exciting to watch as you don’t know what is going to happen next!
- He has a nice helicopter
- He seems very sporting when others win or achieve pole – he is always seen congratulating them
- Seems like a happy man!
- After his roll at Donington in 2011 his team added an upside down ‘Silverline’ logo on the side of his car
- At Oulton Park in 2012 he had a problem with his car and was forced to sit out the first race of the day, however, he fought back to second in the next two races – impressive!