POWER MAXED RACING'S SEASON GOT OFF TO A STRONG START ON THE OPENING WEEKEND OF THE KWIK FIT BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP AT THRUXTON
Image courtesy of BTCC
The taste of champagne was sweet for Adrian Flux with Power Maxed racing's Jason Plato as the two-time champion returned to the podium in his first weekend back behind the wheel after sitting out 2020. Building momentum across a weekend of unpredictable weather, the RICH Energy-backed team with Plato at the wheel took a deserved second place in race three around the fast, Thruxton circuit in Hampshire.
The weather began to play its part during qualifying for the three Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship races scheduled for Sunday. Most cars began with a wet setting but with the track drying quickly around the open, former airfield it was a case of who would brave the change from wet to dry in time. The Power Maxed team missed the ideal window by just one lap too many, leaving the lead car of Plato with the 11th fastest time with teammate Dan Lloyd 22nd.
With a dry track for Sunday's opening race of the season, there was work to be done by both drivers if they were to make their mark on proceedings from the start. In true BTCC style drama unfolded on the opening lap causing the safety car to be deployed, thankfully with both drivers avoiding incident. As racing resumed Plato was locked in a battle with Butcher for 5th place before a big move through the complex lost both drivers time and Cammish slipped through to take the 5th with Plato unable to find an answer for Butcher, bringing his Vauxhall Astra home in 7th place with Dan Lloyd finishing just adrift of the points.
More drama ensued at the start of the second BTCC race of the day, the drivers barely into third gear before the Red Flag was thrown after Glynn Geddie barrel-rolled through Allards after contact from another driver. Plato was finding his form running in a strong 4th place before being mugged by Rowbottom at the chicane on the last lap. Dan Lloyd battled hard to improve on his first race finish, taking 14th at the flag and his first points of the season.
A delayed final race of the day was held in wet conditions but with the track potentially drying between showers the dilemma was 'do we or don't we' in terms of risking slick tyres on a still-greasy circuit in the hope that the performance will be there late in the race. The Adrian Flux with Power Maxed team decided discretion was the better part of valour and retained the wet set up on the Astras. Early in proceedings, the track did dry enough and the slick-shod cars made their break with others even pitting for a change of tyre.
As the race unfolded it looked like a lottery as to the weather and again the dilemma of pitting and losing places or hoping the rain returned, just as the team's radar was predicting. As the pack shuffled with pit stops the rain did return and the wet tyres again came to the fore. It was a big ask to chase the leader but Plato dug in for the podium battle and after the usual shenanigans in the final chicane it was Plato that came out on top in the dash for the line taking a deserved 2nd place and a points haul that leaves the Oxfordshire man laying third in the overall standings. Dan Lloyd had a strong race to 5th place, showing his true potential in the Astra for 2021.
The Championship now moves on to Snetterton in Norfolk on 12/13th June.