DOUBLE British Touring Car champion Jason Plato has joined Bidford-on-Avon's Power Maxed Racing for the 2019 season.

Oxford-based Plato will drive the race-winning Vauxhall Astra during his 21st year in the championship.

He has won more races than any other driver in the BTCC with 97 victories and been in contention to take the title on finals day nine times out of the last 15.

Team principal Adam Weaver said: “The signing of a proven champion and race winner fits perfectly with our stated ambition to win the championship in our fifth season.

"Can we do it? We are under no illusions that the series will be tougher than ever in 2019 but we are putting the ingredients in place and are up for the challenge.”

Plato said: “Although they finished tied second on points in the teams' championship last season PMR is still a relatively young outfit in the BTCC.

"However, there is a strong team of very experienced and talented personnel behind the scenes working incredibly hard to make sure they can continue to challenge at the front from the season off.

"Their collective ambition, motivation and desire to win their first championship made this the perfect opportunity for me.

"The decision for me to get involved with PMR just became easier and easier the more time I spent with them.”

Team manager Martin Broadhurst said: “Working with Jason again is something I’m very excited about.

"It’s difficult not to be, he’s had the most race wins in the history of the championship which certainly makes him our most successful driver signing.

"This brings new and added pressures in terms of our performance but we are ready for the challenge.”

PMR plan to reveal Plato’s team-mate within the next week ahead of pre-season testing.