Plato To Race New Leon As SEAT Confirms 2006 BTCC Participation

Jason Plato will spearhead SEAT Sport UK’s assault on the 2006 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship when he races the all-new Leon in the UK for the first time.

The Monaco-based Englishman was British Touring Car Champion in 2001 and, for the last two years, has raced in the series for the Northampton-based SEAT Sport UK team. Driving a Toledo Cupra, Jason won an unequalled seven races to finish 3 rd in 2004 and 4 th in 2005 after scoring three race wins.

For 2006, SEAT Sport UK will bring the exciting new Leon to the BTCC for the first time. The racing Leon - based on the 137mph road-going Leon 2.0 TFSI - made its FIA World Touring Car Championship debut at Oschersleben in Germany in August 2005, finishing 7 th and 4 th in its maiden back-to-back race meeting. After a race at Istanbul, even better was to follow at Valencia in October when Jordi Gené drove the new Leon to its first WTCC race win with the Barcelona-based SEAT Sport team.

SEAT Sport UK is aiming to fight for the BTCC Manufacturers’ title in 2006 and while no decision has yet been made on who will drive the second car, it’s likely that Plato’s team-mate will also be an experienced racer who has the potential to win at every race circuit.

Jason Plato said: “The new SEAT Leon looks fantastic and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The more I see of the car the more convinced I am that it’s a winner. On a personal level I’m working hard on my fitness, I’ve stopped smoking and I’m going to come back leaner and meaner. We’re only racing for one reason and that’s to win it, and I hope the BTCC is ready for us!”

Scott Dennis, SEAT UK’s Motorsport Manager, said: “The BTCC offering for 2006 provides a solid platform for us to work towards achieving both our sporting and marketing aspirations. SEAT Sport’s designers and engineers have done a fantastic job with the new Leon and the results already achieved in the WTCC demonstrate that the car has the potential to win races regularly both in the World Championship and in the BTCC. I’m confident that we’ll take our experiences from the last two years in the BTCC and build on a team that is capable of winning. We relish the challenge that lies ahead.”

Published 2 December 2005 Melanie Carter

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