Jason Plato will return to the British Touring Car Championship in 2021 with Power Maxed Racing, following a COVID-enforced sabbatical in 2020.
One of the most popular drivers in the history of the sport, the two-time BTCC champion was forced to sit out the shortened and delayed 2020 season on commercial grounds after both team and driver decided it was the right thing to do with the reduced commercial value for sponsors.
Power Maxed Racing continued as a single car entry in 2020, opting to provide upcoming drivers a chance on the big BTCC stage and bringing no fewer than four new faces to the series across the year – including Jade Edwards, who has recently found herself a full-time drive with BTC Racing in 2021.
The year off came at an unfortunate time for Plato, having ended 2019 on a high with his first win in over two years at the Brands Hatch finale, taking his overall victory tally to 97, tantalisingly close to becoming the first ever BTCC centurion.
“Obviously 2020 was less than ideal for many of us but it gave me time to put a lot of things into perspective,” said Plato. “I was lucky enough to be able to spend a lot more time than I normally would at home with the family, but I’m itching to get back in a race car now. It’s the longest I’ve been without racing, and it’s made me appreciate just how much I love it, and I have really missed my team.
“I’m excited about the future with Power Maxed Car Care Racing. Winning the final race in 2019 has lit a fire underneath me, so I’m more than ready to get back out and win my 100th race!”
A stalwart of the Championship, Plato will line his Vauxhall Astra up at Thruxton for the season opener to notch up 600 starts, a total only beaten by his long-term rival Matt Neal, who is also yet to confirm his place on the grid for 2021.
The 2021 season will mark Plato’s 22nd season in the premier British motorsport series, having made his debut with the Williams-run Renault squad in 1997. Since then Plato only missed two seasons (up until 2020) having stepped away from the series as outgoing champion in 2001 in a bid to make it to NASCAR before returning with SEAT in 2004.
While he may have been on the sidelines in BTCC terms last year, Plato was in action at Goodwood SpeedWeek presented by Mastercard last October, sharing a Ford Mustang Boss 302 in the Gerry Marshall Trophy and a Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray in the RAC TT Celebration with regular teammate Craig Davies, finishing fourth and 12th respectively.