The picturesque Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire saw the Silverline Chevrolet team take a crucial haul of points in a meeting packed with drama, but reigning champion Jason Plato has called on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship organisers to ensure a fairer playing field for the remaining six rounds of the season.
Plato took victory in the second of the day’s two races after the Hondas of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden took each other into the gravel in the second of the day’s two races, while he and team-mate Alex MacDowall took a solid second and third position in race one to strengthen the RML-built Silverline Chevrolet cars’ championship chances.
Showery weather in the first two races led to a race meeting packed with drama, with tyre choice proving critical.
Plato and MacDowall climbed from fourth and seventh on the grid respectively to come home second and third overall, while in the second race the extra power of the turbocharged Hondas made it impossible for the Chevrolets to pass. Plato was gifted a victory after Matt Neal collided with team-mate Gordon Shedden on the final lap.
Speaking after the race, he said: “It’s great to have the points in the bag as we’ve worked really hard for them, but the BTCC series organisers need to take a long hard look at the parity they promised between turbo and non-turbo cars at the start of the season. It’s not racing when a more powerful car can sail past us on the straights, and we were promised at the start of the season that this wouldn’t be the case.
“It’s not fair on the teams that invest so much time and money into trying to win the championship, but more importantly it’s not fair on the fans, who turn up to race meetings or watch at home on the TV, as they want to see close, hard-fought racing.”
Nonetheless, the additional points haul helped put the Silverline Chevrolet team back in contention for the manufacturers/constructors championship, just 27 points behind Honda with 18 races and six meetings left to go in the season.
Plato trails championship leader Matt Neal by 12 points, while just 15 points separates the series’ top six drivers.