Plato On A Charge At Rockingham
Submitted on September 22nd 2012 10:31 by James Mappin.
Jason Plato has set his stall out early on this weekend as he looks to re-invent his title charge at Rockingham in round 8 of the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as he took the fastest time of the first practice session.
Plato, behind the wheel of the NGTC MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 took the fastest time of the session early on and looked to be comfortable with his time but a late charge from the two Honda’s of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal caused the two-time champion to ‘up his game’, and that’s exactly what he did, finishing with a time of 1:23.524 to take the session.
Gordon Shedden left it late but the Scotsman will be happy to be within two tenths of a second of the time set by Plato after circulating the track the most of anyone in the session with 22 laps. Shedden’s time of 1:23.722 was good enough for second place in the session ahead of team-mate and reigning champion, Matt Neal.
Neal came home in third with his time of 1:23.871, just 0.347s shy of Plato’s time but what makes that remarkable is the fact that he did it whilst racing with a broken hand following a Motorcycle crash less than two weeks ago meaning the reigning champion would have been under excruciating pain for the duration of the session.
Jeff Smith and Andrew Jordan came home in the top five making it four NGTC Honda Civic’s in the top five which just show’s the strength of the NGTC chassis at the Rockingham circuit.
Andy Neate managed to guide his NGTC MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 into the top ten with a strong display just 1.325s shy of his team-mate, Jason Plato.
Aron Smith edged out team-mate Mat Jackson to occupy 7th in the Redstone Racing Ford Focus whilst Frank Wrathall, Toyota Avensis and Rob Collard, BMW 320si round out the top ten.
Elsewhere, Howard Fuller completed his first competitive test session in his British Touring Car Championship debut in the Honda Civic prepared by Team HARD. with a time of 1:28.518 which left the 20-year-old down in 19th place after completing 14-laps.
For full classification click here.
Photo Credit: Pete Mainey