Power Maxed Racing will not contest the full 2020 British Touring Car Championship, leaving Jason Plato, the most successful driver in BTCC history, with 97 race wins and two titles to his name, without a seat.
While remaining committed to the 2021 season, Team Principal Adam Weaver has revealed that the Official Vauxhall Team will not be on the Donington Park startline when the 2020 BTCC season kicks off on 1st August. And while Plato and teammate Mat Jackson will be retained until 2021 (the latter at his discretion), they will be very much sat in the dugout until then.
For 2020, 52-year-old Plato was set to drive in his second season for the Warwickshire-based team, while Jackson was due to return to the Championship two years after his pre-season split with Motorbase Performance.
Plato, however, has not been deterred by the decision, commenting: “I genuinely believe this is the right decision for us as a team, and all of our loyal partners. It may not be what people want to hear, and we are all gutted to not be racing as we had planned but the really important thing is to make sure we are in a position to race again in ’21 and for many years beyond, and this was the best way for us all to guarantee that.”
Confirming that all partner contracts will be carried over to the next season, team boss Weaver elaborated: “Obviously taking this decision was not easy, but ourselves and our commercial partners felt that overall, it’s the right thing for us to do in order to preserve our resources for next year.
“But I want to clarify that this is in no way us ‘giving up’. We are simply hitting the pause button on these agreements, with all our branding partners and team wear simply being carried over for the ‘21 season, along with all corporate hospitality obligations. It means that we’ve got even more time to develop the Astras and will come out of the blocks fighting next March!”
While withdrawing their main effort, the team still plans to enter a car or two as an independent entry at rounds throughout the year, fielding both developing young motorsport talent and well-known touring car stars who can’t commit to a full season due to other commitments.
Of the announcement, BTCC Chief Executive Alan Gow commented: “Power Maxed Racing have come a long way from their first foray in 2015, and they’ll be missed on the grid this year. We will see their car throughout this season with some guest drivers that I’m sure will delight our fans, and from the commitments Adam [Weaver] has made, I’ve no doubt they’ll be back in the thick of it come ’21. These are trying times for everyone, but we will all weather the storm by supporting each other as best we can.”
The news comes just a week after Andrew Jordan, the 2019 BTCC runner-up and 2013 champion, announced he will not race in 2020 following the withdrawal of some sponsors as a result of the COVD-19 pandemic.