Motorsport
BTCC stars look forward to the new season

By Jamie Arrowsmith Thursday 17 January 2013 Updated: 24/01 16:30

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Buy photos » Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden at the Autosport International show. Picture by Darren Price.

BRITISH Touring Car Championship duo Matt Neal and Jason Plato took time out to begin looking ahead to the new season when attending the Autosport Show at the NEC last weekend.

The new season revs into action on March 30 at Brands Hatch and the duo are expected to be amongst the front-runners once again whilst renewing their on-track rivalry at the same time.

Worcestershire race ace Neal finished second in the Drivers Championship behind Honda team-mate Gordon Shedden last year and is keen to get started once again.

“I’m working hard on a personal level as well as helping the team try to develop the car,” he said.

“We weren’t planning to test until February but we might, weather depending, get out on track at the end of January.

“We have worked on a lot of areas of the car but regulations restrict just how much you can change.

“Obviously the car was brand new last year so it is always a mad rush to get it ready for the first race of the season, but we have paid great attention to detail and hopefully that will pay off.”

MG’s Plato, who finished third in the Drivers Championship, is looking to build on a successful first season for the team and is confident they know the areas in which they need to improve.

“To be competitive so early last season was great. I was totally confident in the ability of Ian Harrison and the Triple A team, I knew we would get the car sorted, it was just a question of when,” he said.

“A lot of work has been taking place at the factory to try and take us forward and we have a pretty clear direction of where we want to go.

“We know why our car was not great in the wet last year, but at the same time we also know it was quick in the dry.

“It is important therefore to find a balance between making the car quicker in the wet, whilst not comprising our performance in the dry.

“We will have a better handling car though and a bit more power from the engine and whilst I was pleased to come close last season, I want to win.”

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Buy photos» Jason Plato is hoping to build on last year’s impressive performances. Picture by Darren Price.

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