Silverline Chevrolet driver Jason Plato has won the British Touring Car Drivers’ Championship, making it the perfect end to the Cruze’s first ever season in the series.
The remarkable achievement came with a textbook display of driving at Brands Hatch in the last meeting of the season, which started with a lap record and a pole position on Saturday, and ended with two superbly clean victories on Sunday. Having put the Cruze on pole position in style, Jason went on to show a clean pair
of heels to his rivals after one of the series’ closest-fought title battles, which could have seen any one of four drivers take the title.
Tom Onslow-Cole’s chances finished early with a gearbox problem in race one, while Gordon Shedden’s title dreams were shattered in race two, suffering mechanical failure before the start of the race. Matt Neal took the battle to the wire in his Honda, but despite his best efforts could not deny Jason, who got off to two spectacular starts in the day’s first two races, to pull out a decent lead and drive two superb, clean and uneventful races from pole position to victory, with only a false alarm over a suspected puncture four laps from the end of the first race breaking an otherwise calm and collected raceday.
By the end of the second race, Jason’s two victories were sufficient to ensure that no rival could beat his points tally, winning him his second BTCC title and his first since 2001. “It’s the perfect end to an amazing season”, said Jason. “It took us a while to get going but by the end of the season we had a car that was unbeatable, thanks in no small part to the hard work and dedication of my team. We knew we could do it, and we did!”
The drivers’ title is a remarkable achievement for both Jason and the Silverline Chevrolet team, run by Wellingborough-based RML Group. 2010 marked the team’s first ever BTCC season with the Cruze, and Chevrolet’s first ever official involvement as a manufacturer.
As well as taking the title, Plato scored a further achievement at Brands, after his victory on Race Two brought his total number of BTCC wins to 60, equalling Andy Rouse’s record.