The thoughts of Chris Gurton on motorsport, his photography, his work and his life in general. The thoughts, views and opinion's expressed in this blog are those of Chris Gurton and not necessarily those of any publication that he contributes to.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Restrict Them

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.

The gas powered Fords were quickest at some circuits last season

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.

Plato's puncture at Donington was caused by the speed of the turbo cars. Aparently.

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.

'You only sing when you're winning'


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.

Finally, if you like my blog, you can still vote for it in Longlife Exhausts quest to find the best car blog here. I’d be very grateful if you did.

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2 responses

  1. Matthew Rosewarne

    If other teams are better at something, do something to YOUR car to compete, not moan to get others restricted. Poor decision to restrict the other cars. Annoyed me with the restrictions on rear wheel cars as well a few years ago so they couldn’t get off the start as well as they used to as it was deemed as having too much of an advantage.

    Great blog though

    April 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm

  2. Daniel F

    Thing is though, it’s not just Plato who can’t compete against them is it? It’s all the normally-aspirated cars. Sure, there’s not many but the BTCC should be all about the potential pace of the cars being even, and it’s not. TOCA have done what’s needed to even things up before a circuit where the Turbos should absolutely dominate.

    The fact it favours Plato really is by the by, from where I’m sitting.

    Besides, if they don’t do this then as soon as the Hondas have been figured out and get some luck for once they’ll walk the season*. At least let’s have a battle.

    * Yes, I know Nash, Jordan and Jackson seem to be up there… but will it stay like that? I don’t think so if they sort the car out.

    April 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

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