Interview : Positive Plato expects thrilling season
Thu 24th March 2011 Jason Plato defends his BTCC title in 2011 and he's confident of putting up a strong fight.
By Matt Lamprell
The 2011 BTCC season ended on a high for Jason Plato and the Silverline Chevrolet team, with a double victory at Brands Hatch clinching a second title for the 42-year-old.
Plato's Cruze became stronger as the year went on and the same model carried Yvan Muller to the FIA WTCC title. The Chevrolet team returns with an evolution of the same car for 2011, so starts the year among the title favourites.
"I think we're in for a very interesting year", said Plato. "We're pretty confident with the equipment we've got.
"My car is a development of the car that won the World Championship with Yvan Muller last year. We know that's a step forward from where we were at the final race at Brands Hatch when we won the championship. At that race meeting we were night and day quicker than anyone else. We're pretty confident we've got the tools to do the job."
"This is the BTCC and anything can happen. Underestimate the other teams at your peril. I think Honda will do a very good job. We're hoping they might not be as sharp at the beginning of the season as they will be at the end."
Plato and the Silverline Chevrolet team have opted to stick with a full S2000 package this year, while others around them start to embrace NGTC regulations.
"There's a very interesting mix of different packages", continued Plato. "Some cars are going to be good in qualifying, some are going to be good at the start of a race and some in the middle and at the end.
"I think we're in for a thrilling season. I'm confident I've got the best car underneath me and the best bunch of people around me. That's all we can hope for, but I'm pretty happy with my position at the moment."