Friday, 25 March 2011

The BTCC Media Day 2011 at Silverstone

An entertaining start to the BTCC Media Day with a range of interviews including a talk with top drivers Jason Plato and Matt Neal

2010 champion Jason Plato alongside his closest rival Matt Neal, began the day with a humorous and insightful interview. “We’re even talking now!” Matt Neal said. Both drivers are confident a competitive and eventful season is ahead and both agree this is partly due to the beginning of the transition to the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) turbo –charged engines, which Matt Neal’s Honda will be running in their two cars this season, along with the record entry number in 20 years of the British Touring Car Championship with 27 entries. “We are in for a very interesting year. This is the BTCC and anything can happen,” Jason Plato said. Although Plato’s Chevrolet Cruze will run the original S2000 regulations, he is positive the car beneath him is a championship contender as the previous car was last year, and as testing got underway, Plato began to defend his title. “I feel I have the best car underneath my bum. I’m happy in my blue suit,” Plato said. Matt Neal explained just how much the cars have changed and developed since his first Grand Prix. “My first race was the British Grand Prix in 1991 and the cars have changed so much since then. All the cars have data systems now,” Neal said.
“The likes of Matt and me might have to start wearing foundation,” Plato said. ITV have signed a new three year contract of live coverage for the BTCC, after launching the television coverage on grand stand 22 years ago. The 2011 coverage will include the seven–hour-plus live broadcast as before on its ITV4 and new ITV4 HD channels. This was quite a tender area for the drivers when it comes to looking good in front of the camera, which was mentioned by Alan Gow during in his interview with star presenter Steve Rider. “We are also going to be live on ITV4 HD, which is going to be a challenge for a lot of the drivers, the way they look,” Alan Gow said. The room very much filled with laughter. The final question asked, which is a fragile one at this point “If I asked you who would win the championship this year and you couldn’t say the teams, who would it be?” Alan Gow replied “Motorsport.”

Sophie Williamson

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