• Oct 9, 2007


Jason Plato, BTCC champion and Fifth Gear presenter, found himself in the midst of a Caparo T1 barbeque while testing the new supercar at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire. According to Plato, he noticed a loss of power while traveling upwards of 150 MPH. He checked the outside mirror, saw smoke and then felt a rush of intense heat. The T1 "spontaneously erupted into a ball of flame," said Plato, who immediately stopped the Caparo and jumped out after sustaining burns to his neck, face and hands.

He was rushed to the hospital and is expected to consult a burn specialist later today. Plato still intends to compete at the final BTCC race this weekend at the Thurxton Circuit this Sunday, which coincides with his 40th birthday. Just be careful blowing out those candles, Jason.

[Source: Fifth Gear]

PRESS RELEASE

Jason Plato hurt in TV filming accident

Jason Plato has been hurt in an incident during filming for the Channel 5 Fifth Gear programme.

SEAT Sport UK's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship driver was testing a road-going Caparo T1 supercar at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground near Lutterworth in Leicestershire when it burst into flames at an estimated 150mph. The car has a maximum top speed of 200mph.

Jason was taken by private car to the nearest accident and emergency facility at the Market Harborough and District Hospital. After initial treatment he was transferred by ambulance to Kettering General Hospital. Following further treatment there, he was transferred by ambulance to the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where he received treatment in the specialist burns unit. He was released later the same evening and spent the night resting at home in Oxfordshire, before seeing a burns specialist again this morning.

Jason has received burns to both hands (the right hand being more badly injured), his face and the back of the neck. He has vowed to race at this weekend's final BTCC race meeting at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on Sunday 14th October, which is also his 40th birthday. Jason, who races a SEAT Leon, goes into the final three races of the season leading the BTCC Drivers' category, nine points ahead of Italy's Fabrizio Giovanardi (Vauxhall).

Jason said: "We were testing the Caparo T1 for Fifth Gear, and we took it to Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, a private testing facility, which is common practice. There was a slight loss of power, I looked in the mirror and saw some smoke, there was a slight smell of oil and then suddenly there was this intense heat. The car spontaneously erupted into a ball of flame and I was sat in the middle of a fireball. I hit the brakes, brought the car to a stop as quickly as I could and jumped out.

"We found the nearest hospital on our sat nav and Phil Bennett [former BTCC racing driver who was at the test] took me to the local A&E. I would very much like to thank Phil, all the staff at Market Harborough and District Hospital, Kettering General Hospital and Stoke Mandeville Hospital for all the excellent care and treatment they so quickly administered.

"The back of my neck is burnt and so are my face and hands. I obviously couldn't take my hands off the steering wheel whilst braking and my right hand is more badly burnt than my left. I'll have to dig deep, but I'm still looking forward to the BTCC finale this weekend. It's been a hard-fought season and I've led the Drivers' Championship almost unbroken since winning the opening round, so this isn't going to stop me winning the title on Sunday."


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  • 18 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Craparo anyone?
      • 7 Years Ago
      oh god a preproduction test vehicle went into flames!
      lets stigmatize an entire company now!

      the mule Audi RS8 went up in flames on the Nurburg ring too, I think I'm going to pull a Ralph Nader and say that the R8 is a ticking time bomb and nobody should buy an Audi period.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Who cares if if I do or don't own them, does that mean I can't enjoy them and can't defend the designers when I personally am studying mechanical engineering and have some understanding?

        Hell, if you own one of these, can I have a ride?
        It'd be awful nice.
        If not why are you attacking a vehicle you don't own either?

        oh nice metaphor with the "company going down in flames" too. It was cute.

        and yes, I believe there is no assembly line of T1s rolling off in Hampshire so technically it is is a preproduction vehicle. (note I didn't say it was a test mule)
        • 7 Years Ago
        This company is going down in flames. The R8 is a death trap too. Wait a tic, Zach won't own any of these vehicles he's taking up for and it the Caparo wasn't pre-production. HOO-AH!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well adding a fire suppression system as standard equipment would give it even more track cred'.
        • 7 Years Ago
        But that would ruin the phenomenal weight ratio!
      • 7 Years Ago
      is this the same guy who flipped the van while filming for 5th gear?
        • 7 Years Ago
        nah, youre thinking of tom ford, the big-ish presenter alongside vicks.
        • 7 Years Ago
        No, that was the fat boy Tom Ford. Plato is a great driver.
      • 7 Years Ago
      We now know that the Caparo and the Fiero haved three things in common. The other two are mid-engine layouts and names that end in vowels.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Could Jason Plato also be known as ‘The Stig’ ??
      • 7 Years Ago
      owned..
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hmmm....they must have been using a VW Passat ignition system.
        • 7 Years Ago
        lol, oddly my jetta didn't burst into flames the last time I had it near 150 (speedo indicated 160, gps indicated 147)... must be a 1.8T :D
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