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Neal vs Plato: It's war!

Thursday, June 03 2010

The gloves are off between title front-runners Matt Neal and Jason Plato as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heads to Oulton Park this weekend (5/6 June) following a month's break.

Honda Racing driver Neal and Silverline Chevrolet's Plato are currently neck-and-neck in the championship chase on 67 points, with both drivers predicting fireworks at the BTCC's annual trip to Cheshire.

"It's rough to race at Oulton - just what the crowds love!" said Matt Neal to btcc.net. "There are lots of overtaking opportunities with high speed sections leading into second and third gear bits and vice-versa, plus it's also very narrow in places so the racing can and often does become quite physical. I'm under no illusions how tough this one is going to be."

Neal is expecting strong competition throughout the field this weekend, particularly from arch rival Plato: "Oulton is going to suit the BMWs and the turbocharged-engined cars - the Fords and the Jordan and Pinkney Vectras - are going to take some catching on the uphill sections.

"I also get the feeling that Jason is going to be back to his best this weekend. A lot of people overlook the fact that he and Chevrolet did a pre-season test at Oulton and were very quick," he added.

Former double champion Matt may be right to fear Plato, as the most experienced driver in the BTCC field - who has 54 career victories to his name - is on the hunt for major point scores at Oulton Park.

"Oulton is a circuit I love and it should suit our car," said Plato. "In the pre-season test we did there we seemed to be quick and I think we've moved the car on a bit since then - we've found more grip and a set-up that enables me to attack the corners a bit more. With that in mind this weekend should reward us with some big points."

The title battle resumes with qualifying on Saturday at 3pm, followed by three races on Sunday, the first of which gets underway at 12.15pm.

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park on 5/6 June are available on the gate for £12 on qualifying day (Saturday) and £29 on raceday (Sunday) for adults. Entry is free for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.