Jason Plato has hailed his Team BMR team-mate Ashley Sutton as a superstar after the 23-year-old became the youngest BTCC champion in the modern era at Brands Hatch.
In what turned out to be a tense season finale, Sutton held his nerve to beat Colin Turkington to the coveted crown in just his second season in the series.
Joining Plato at Team BMR this year, Sutton’s meteoric rise has been one to behold as he stormed to take six wins and nine podiums on his way to the title.
Singing the praises of the latest driver to climb to the top of the touring car mountain, the double champion ran out of superlatives for the Sutton and the team on what they have achieved.
“What a brilliant result,” Plato told BTCC Crazy. “Ashley winning the title validates everything we knew we could do with this package despite the constant changes being made throughout the season – it is job done.
“He is a real superstar though, the real deal. You couldn’t meet a more down to earth and nicer lad, he doesn’t have any faults.
“There aren’t many drivers that come along that are the complete package. Look back on the last 20 years and really look at who has made it in a big way; probably myself, Andy Priaulx, Gordon Shedden are just a select few you could argue have done.
“Ashley has the making’s to do it all, he is a very special talent and he’s fully deserving of the title.
“That goes for the whole team as well. We set ourselves a target and have now achieved it, they deserve a lot of credit.”
Plato’s own 2017 campaign proved to be a tough one as car issues plagued him for a majority of the season, leaving him to score just a single pole position and win, as well as a further three podiums.
He explained: “For me, I’ve never known a season like it where I’ve been so uncompetitive. It will be one to forget on a personal note but it isn’t about me, this is Ashley’s time.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography