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Jason Plato quickest in first pre-season BTCC test at Brands Hatch

Tuesday, March 23 2010

Just 24 hours after announcing his return to the series in 2010, Jason Plato's Chevrolet Cruze topped the times in the first official pre-season test for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch today (Tuesday 23 March).

Just over half a second separated the top ten drivers following six hours of testing, with 2001 BTCC champion Plato - whose Silverline Chevrolet team will receive manufacturer support this season - setting the fastest time of the day during the afternoon.

Another manufacturer squad, Team Honda Racing, also showed strong pace as new signing Gordon Shedden finished second quickest overall.

Airwaves BMW's Steven Kane posted the third fastest time of the day: an impressive achievement considering today marked the first full test for the team's pair of BMW 320sis.

The Team Aon Ford Focus of Tom Chilton finished fourth quickest, ahead of Shedden's team-mate Matt Neal in the second Honda Civic and Rob Collard, who has switched to a WSR-run BMW in 2010.

BTCC newcomer Alex Macdowell made a solid first effort to post the seventh fastest time of the day in his Silverline Chevrolet, ahead of Chilton's Aon team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole and the Sunshine.co.uk-backed Honda Integra of fans' favourite Paul ONeill.

Andrew Jordan, who will run the new specification NGTC engine this season, rounded out the top ten in his Pirtek Racing Vauxhall Vectra.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, official Brands Hatch pre-season test:
1. Jason Plato (Silverline Chevrolet Cruze), 48.662s
2. Gordon Shedden (Team Honda Civic), +0.155s
3. Steven Kane (Airwaves BMW 320si), +0.159s
4. Tom Chilton (Team Aon Ford Focus), +0.167s
5. Matt Neal (Team Honda Civic), +0.268s
6. Rob Collard (WSR BMW 320si), +0.301s
7. Alex Macdowell (Silverline Chevrolet Cruze), +0.447s
8. Tom Onslow-Cole (Team Aon Ford Focus), +0.482s
9. Paul O'Neill (Sunshine.co.uk Honda Integra), +0.531s
10. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing Vauxhall Vectra), +0.611s

Brands Hatch will host the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on 1/2 May. Tickets are available from £24 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.