FEB 26th 2015

Plato and Neal: BTCC's fiercest rivals join star‑studded Goodwood tin‑tops battle

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The rivalry between BTCC champions Jason Plato and Matt Neal is the fiercest on the saloon car racing circuit – and they’ll renew their long-standing competition at the 73rd Members’ Meeting before the 2015 BTCC season gets under way.

Team BMR Volkswagen driver Plato, who has recorded an all-time record 88 BTCC race wins, as well as the 2001 and 2010 championships, has entered the Gerry Marshall Trophy for Group 1 saloons of the 1970-82 period.

He will race the Mini 1275GT that John Mowatt campaigned in the 1980 series. Plato will share the car, which is prepared by Mini specialist Swiftune Engineering, with Glyn Swift, and joins fellow ex-BTCC champion Andrew Jordan in racing Swiftune machinery.

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Honda Racing team regular Neal, who has three BTCC titles to his name – a number eclipsed only by Andy Rouse – as well as 53 race wins, is a late addition to the Gerry Marshall Trophy line-up and will race the Bastos-liveried Chevrolet Camaro Z28 that started the 1981 Spa 24 Hours from pole position.

Neal replaces GT ace Darren Turner, who was originally due to have shared the car with David Clark, but who has received a late call-up to race on the same weekend at the Sebring 12 Hours for his regular employer, Aston Martin Racing.

While neither Neal nor Plato have raced at the Members’ Meeting before, both are familiar with Goodwood, having previously appeared at both the Festival of Speed and Revival.

They join a raft of international and domestic touring car champions and winners that includes Rob Huff, Steve Soper, Jochen Mass, Emanuele Pirro, Anthony Reid, Robb Gravett, Stuart Graham, Tim Harvey, Rob Austin, Tiff Needell and Mat Jackson.

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