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The MG KX Momentum Racing team suffered a difficult day at Knockhill, as Jason Plato’s Championship charge took a knock in rounds 19, 20 & 21 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

Jason Plato formed up on Pole Position for Race One, courtesy of his brilliant wet qualifying lap. The British double champion had one eye to his left though, as alongside him sat the fast starting, rear-wheel drive BMW of Rob Collard and predictably the BMW powered away from the line to lead comfortably by Turn One. Jason slotted in behind and was pursued by the aggressive looking Ford of Aaron Smith. The Ford had far superior straight-line speed and was pushing Jason along, on just the second lap of the race contact from behind sent his MG6 spinning out of control and into the gravel for a DNF and zero points. Andy Neate fared little better, with contact also ending his race on Lap 2.

Race Two of the day saw the two Triple Eight prepared MG 6GT cars start from the back of the field, following their double retirement from Race One. Both Jason and Andy made progress through the pack, but neither driver was entirely happy with the set-up of their car and technical gremlins hampered their progress, ensuring that both failed to make the top 10, in order to take advantage of the reverse grid for Race Three.

Things went from bad to worse for MG KX Momentum Racing in the day’s final race. The technical troubles that had blighted Jason’s second race returned, meaning he sadly did not even take the start. Andy Neate decided to take a gamble on the weather, as the cars formed up on the grid light rain was falling. The decision was made to start on wet tyres, in order to capitalise should the weather worsen, however much like the rest of the team’s day, the cards didn’t fall in the right direction and the rain stopped, forcing Andy to pit and switch to Dunlop’s dry weather tyre. He did however recover to score a sole point for 15th position.

Jason Plato (#99), BTCC Standings 3rd – 251 points:
“I was optimistic following our Pole, but being removed from Race One by the Ford set the tone for the day and I guess it’s never a great day when your best result is an 11th! The technical issue restricted my progress in Race Two and stopped it all together in Race Three. Rockingham has to go better.”

Andy Neate (#44), BTCC Standings: 17th – 57 points:
“A tough day at the office for me and all of the team today. It didn’t start well and went downhill from there. I thought it was worth taking a punt on the strategy in Race Three, having retired from Race One and struggling with the technical issue in two, but not even the weather would help me today!”

Ian Harrison, Team Principal, BTCC Standings: Teams – 5th – 305 points, Manufacturers – 2nd – 503 points:
“We have had a nightmare day to be honest. After a good qualifying yesterday, it’s gone wrong ever since we got out of bed this morning. The contact from Smith in Race One has ruined Jason’s day and it’s put us in a compromised position in the championship now. Andy’s day’s not been much better; he was unlucky with a wrong tyre call at the end there. Let’s forget about this weekend now and move on to Rockingham.”

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