After my last blog post about Jason Plato and his disgraceful attitude and behaviour after the Knockhill round of the British Touring Car Championships, it seems that he just doesn’t know when to stop.
Despite writing an apology on twitter last week it seems it was totally meaningless as his column for The Sun newspaper shows. If you haven’t seen it, you can read it here. Yet again he takes the opportunity to have a go at Tom Boardman. Although using less offensive language, he still makes Tom look like a dreadful driver. He also makes out he was hit really hard and deliberately shoved into the barrier. As stated last week, contact was only slight and I have no doubt that there was no malice intended. Plato seems to forget the numerous times he has forced competitors off and then told the media that it was only a ‘Racing Incident’.
Plato also contradicts himself, by stating that the Turbo powered cars are 7mph faster than the normally aspirated ones yet complains that Boardman told the media he was faster than Jason. But what really annoys me is that Plato says tongue in cheek that Boardman’s statements to the media were ‘Real Class’. Come on, is Plato being serious here? Can someone please explain to him what a hypocrite is? You only need to read his nonsensical column to see what a total joke that statement is. Jason Plato wouldn’t know what ‘Real Class’ was if it roared up behind him and smashed his car into a barrier. Has Boardman criticised others? Has Boardman resorted to name calling on social media? Has Boardman moaned and complained bitterly about the pace of rival cars all season in the public spotlight? No. I just hope the readers of The Sun who aren’t fans of the BTCC don’t believe this garbage that’s been written.
It’s about time Plato just let it go. It’s also about time his team got him a good PR representative. If he already has one then I suggest they get the boot. I’m getting bored, frustrated and annoyed with all this now and he is making himself out to look like an idiot. However, rather cleverly, he has written off his title chances. We all know that with nine races left this season there are still a lot of points up for grabs. All it takes is for a front runner to have a dreadful weekend, as demonstrated by Matt Jackson last time out, and Plato can haul himself right back into the battle. He knows this too, but by saying he can’t win takes the pressure off him. If he doesn’t take the title at the end of the season he can turn round and say it wasn’t his fault and no doubt blame a certain driver. But if he were to win the championship, then he has given himself the opportunity to blow his own trumpet and tell whoever will listen how great he is by winning when he had no chance.
I’d like to think the Silverline Chevrolet driver will now keep his head down and concentrate on battling fairly for points rather than blurting out the guff he has of late but I doubt it. I know he is capable of getting back into the championship battle and would rather he put all his effort into his racing than taking as many opportunities to have a go at someone or moan about something as possible. I know that the turbo powered cars are faster than the normally aspirated ones, but the teams and drivers that run a turbo car are all abiding by the rules. They are doing nothing wrong so personal attacks are totally unacceptable. I only hope that there are no silly ‘revenge’ manoeuvres in the remaining events and the racing talks for itself.
So the news is that within BTCC, the NGTC Turbo powered cars that were designed for a cost effective level playing field within the championship will be restricted ahead of the next round at Thruxton. Why? Because Jason Plato is upset that they are quicker than his S2000 spec engine car, that’s why.
The two engines were made available to teams well before the season started with the Chevrolet teams and the BMW’s opting to run the non turbo powered S2000 engines over the New Generation Touring Car option which has a turbo. Many people will remember the farce that occurred last season with the Team AON Gas powered Turbo Ford Focus constantly being restricted because it was a bit quicker than the rest of the field in straight line. Of course, Jason Plato didn’t like this and was more vocal than most with his dislike of this, despite Team AON running within the regulations and not in any way dominating the championship standings.
So now with the new regulations in place to create a level playing field, the whole situation has reared its ugly head yet again. Despite winning the first two races of the season at Brands Hatch, Mr Plato was yet again complaining about the turbo powered cars. Yes they were slightly quicker out of the corners, but the non turbo powered cars were quicker into the corners. Each car has unique driving characteristics and handling, we all know that. You have to work to the strengths of the car you have and try and improve the weaknesses. However this is clearly not good enough for the two time BTCC champion and qualifying in seventh place for the first race at Donington only made him angrier.
His moaning was even taken to a whole new level after suffering a puncture in the first race. He blamed the turbo powered cars for it. Apparently, due to their speed, he had to push the car to its limits to stay on the pace which then caused the puncture. Do me a favour. If you want to win a race then you have to push the car to its limits anyway. Is it fair to moan just because someone is quicker than you and you aren’t winning? He seems to forget that a few years ago he was running a Seat Leon Turbo, yes TURBO diesel which was quicker than the rest of the field in a straight line. Did he complain then? No he didn’t. The only reason he didn’t win the championship that year was due to the unreliability of the car.
Unfortunately, series director Alan Gow listens to this moaning and acts on it. The Turbo cars are being punished despite doing nothing wrong. They are running within the regulations but are being pegged back because a team who had the option to run a turbo powered car like everyone else, chose not to and are upset because at some circuits they aren’t the quickest. In what other sports does this happen? Does the FIA punish Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari in Formula one because they are quicker than the Sauber’s, Force India’s or the Toro Rosso’s? No. Does the IAAF tie Usain Bolt’s shoe laces together because he is the fastest man in the world? No. You stick to the rules and you get on with it.
If you ask me Jason Plato needs to learn how to be gracious in defeat and respectful to others. We all know he is a good driver, and winning more touring car races than anyone else goes to show that. But his moaning and complaining is making him look like a spoilt brat and quite frankly, I myself am getting embarrassed for him! He can win with the car he has got and we have already seen that twice already this season. So get your head down and put your effort in to racing instead of moaning Jason and more wins will follow. It’s nice to have a closely fought championship battle, the fans don’t want to see the same driver win every race and they certainly don’t want to see someone whinge and moan because they didn’t.
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