Plato left on BTCC sidelines as team pauses involvement

Jason Plato, the most successful driver in British Touring Car Championship history in terms of wins, faces spending the 2020 season on the sidelines.

Plato left on BTCC sidelines as team pauses involvement

Official Vauxhall team Power Maxed Racing, for which Plato was set to drive for a second season, will not contest the full campaign, and both Plato and Mat Jackson have been released. 

PMR remains committed to a full 2021 season, for which Plato is already confirmed and Jackson has what the team describes as a ‘first option to continue’.

But for now it means that 97-time race winner and two-time champion Plato will not be in action when the 2020 campaign off at Donington Park on August 1-2.

It will mark the first time the 52-year-old will not be on the BTCC grid since 2003.

Jackson, meanwhile, was set for his return to the BTCC in 2020 after two years on the sidelines following his split with Motorbase Performance in the build-up to the 2018 season.

PMR boss Adam Weaver said: “Obviously taking this decision was not easy, but ourselves and our commercial partners felt that overall it’s the right thing for us to do in order to preserve our resources for next year.

“But I want to clarify that this is in no way us ‘giving up’. We are simply hitting the pause button on these agreements. It means that we’ve got even more time to develop the Astras and will come out of the blocks fighting next March!”

Jason Plato, Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra

Jason Plato, Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Plato added: “I genuinely believe this is the right decision for us as a team, and all of our loyal partners.

“It may not be what people want to hear, and we are all gutted to not be racing as we had planned, but the really important thing is to make sure we are in a position to race again in ’21 and for many years beyond, and this was the best way for us all to guarantee that.”

PMR does plan to field its Vauxhall Astras on an independent basis in some races this season.

The team has said that this is part of a plan to ‘showcase and develop young motorsport talent’ and give ‘surprise guest outings to some well-known touring car stars who weren’t able to commit to a full season due to various other commitments’.

The news comes one week after 2019 BTCC runner-up Andrew Jordan parted ways with the West Surrey Racing-run BMW squad.

shares
comments
Jordan expands on "worst phone calls" that led to BTCC exit

Previous article

Jordan expands on "worst phone calls" that led to BTCC exit

Next article

BTCC boss Alan Gow on the future for touring car racing

BTCC boss Alan Gow on the future for touring car racing
Load comments
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Prime

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s been a lot of fat to chew elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action.

BTCC
May 7, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Prime

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes.

BTCC
May 5, 2021
The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020

The 2020 British Touring Car Championship will go down as a classic in which new winners graced the top step of the podium and an unloved chassis was resurrected into a champion. But who were the year's top performers?

BTCC
Dec 24, 2020
The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020 Prime

The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020

The Infiniti Q50 was completely redesigned, redeveloped and revamped by BMR and Laser Tools Racing for 2020. And the flamboyant brilliance of the driver behind the wheel was enough to snatch the title at the last gasp…

BTCC
Dec 11, 2020
Why the BTCC social media trolls have got it wrong Prime

Why the BTCC social media trolls have got it wrong

A number of drivers on this year's British Touring Car Championship grid have been called out on social media for taking other people's seats, whether they are older or drivers who are deemed to have less talent. Matt James busts the myth

BTCC
Mar 27, 2019
How the BTCC's class of 2018 ranked each other Prime

How the BTCC's class of 2018 ranked each other

The BTCC keeps getting more competitive - this season produced another new record number of winners. That made picking a final top 10 an unenviable task, so we enlisted the help of those who were in the heat of the action to decide the order.

BTCC
Nov 2, 2018
Can a champion be worthy if he only won one race? Prime

Can a champion be worthy if he only won one race?

Titles should be won by the driver who claims more victories than anyone else, so convention goes. Does the unpredictable nature of the British Touring Car Championship render that notion obsolete?

BTCC
Oct 10, 2018
BTCC's hybrid future faces urgent hurdles Prime

BTCC's hybrid future faces urgent hurdles

The British Touring Car Championship recently announced it is investigating how to incorporate hybrid technology into its future machines. In doing so it's following the higher echelons of motorsport, while also revealing risks for its grassroots.

BTCC
Aug 19, 2018