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Plato still in Championship Contention

Jason Plato. Silverline Chevrolet Cruze 2011A superb qualifying session and a textbook victory in the first of the Rockingham races in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship have helped keep reigning champion Jason Plato's championship title hopes alive as the season heads towards its climax.

Despite some controversy during Saturday's qualifying session, the Oxfordshire-based ace put the RML-prepared Silverline Chevrolet Cruze on pole position to lead Race One from start to finish at the Northamptonshire circuit. And it was a Chevrolet Cruze 1-2, with independent driver Paul O'Neill bringing his privately entered Cruze home in second, his best result of the season.

The first race wasn't so lucky for Plato's team mate, 20-year old Alex MacDowall. The Cumbrian driver was heading for a solid points finish but a tangle with Andy Neate's Ford Focus on lap 8 witnessed Alex's 'save of the day' as he brilliantly recovered the drifting Cruze from what could have been a massive high-speed accident.

Race Two was always going to be a challenge, with Rockingham's fast home straight and NASCAR-style oval turns limiting the first race winner's acceleration, thanks to 45kg of success ballast. Plato was immediately put under pressure by the two turbocharged Hondas, which were carrying no success ballast, but remained in contention throughout to finish a solid fourth.

But it was further frustration for his young team-mate. Having started from 15th on the grid, MacDowall had climbed to 10th overall before he was pushed into a spin by Rob Austin's Audi on the unlucky 13th of the race's 16 laps.

Alex MacDowall. Silverline Chevrolet Cruze 2011Race Three saw another stunning drive from Plato, passing four cars, including both Hondas, in one manoeuvre and then edging ahead of Jeff Smith on Lap 7 to finish 5th overall, from a mid-table start. Critically, Plato finished ahead of both Neal and Shedden, who scored no points in the day's final race, to edge closer to contention in the title.

Alex MacDowall's final race ran smoothly, finishing just outside of the points in 11th overall, only 4 points shy of O'Neill in the driver standings.  

Plato now trails championship leader Shedden by 24 points, with a maximum of 104 points available from the last two meetings of the season, at Brands Hatch, Kent, on October 2 and Silverstone, Northants, on October 16.

Championship Standing    
Gordon Shedden, Honda Racing   204
Matt Neal, Honda Racing     204
Jason Plato, Silverline Chevrolet    180
Matt Jackson, Airwaves Ford   159

Jason Plato. Silverline Chevrolet Cruze 2011

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About RML

RML has returned in 2011 to defend their titles in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, British Touring Car Championship and the ACO Le Mans Series LMP2 class, having claimed a total of five major titles last season. 

The RML Group comprises the following divisions; Motorsport, Automotive, Engines and Events.  Based in Northamptonshire, England, the company’s 4,300 square metre facility includes design, development, manufacturing and operational support for international race/rally programmes and automotive engineering projects including performance engine development.

Since its formation in 1984 RML has achieved success in a diverse range of motorsport categories including GT/sportscars, touring cars, rally cars, single seaters and oval speedway cars. 

For more information, please contact:
Sara Lambden - RML Group
Email: Sara Lambden
Telephone: 01933 402440

RML News
Rockingham BTCC

Issued September 19th 2011

Jason Plato. Silverline Chevrolet Cruze 2011

RML Chevrolet  | British Touring Car Championship | Partners 2010










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