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Motor Racing: Plato's happy to keep the peace; MOTORSPORT TOURING CARS.

JASON PLATO has shrugged off his recent clash with Fabrizio Giovanardi ahead of the eighth round of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch.

Briton Plato, on 209 points, currently leads the drivers' standings by 14 points from Italy's Giovanardi with just three rounds still to run.

Plato could only manage eighth, third and fourth-placed finishes in his SEAT at the last round at Snetterton, while Vauxhall veteran Giovanardi grabbed a win, a third and a fifth to close down Plato's lead at the summit.

Giovanardi's third place in race three came at the expense of Plato following a coming together between the two that dropped the SEAT driver out of the final podium position.

But Plato insists media reports suggesting the incident has caused a rift between himself and Giovanardi are wide of the mark.

"I spoke with Fabrizio after the race," Plato said. "We don't have a problem at all. Things are said in the press for dramatic effect."

While all may be well between Plato and Giovanardi, the same cannot be said for the Briton's relationship with compatriot Matt Neal (Team Halfords Honda).

Neal and Plato came together in race one at Snetterton, the incident sending both way down the order and out of the running for the win.

The relationship between Plato and reigning champion Neal is notoriously frosty, and Plato pulled no punches after their latest set-to.

"I can't be bothered to speak with him and I guess vice versa," Plato said.

"I don't like the way Matt does things, and I guess he doesn't like the way I do things. Some people you get on with, some people you don't."

Meanwhile, Giovanardi has his eyes firmly on the biggest prize, but is aware he will have to be on top of his game at the historic Kent circuit this weekend.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 18, 2007
Words:307
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