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Caparo T1 has 150mph accident

Published: 10 October 2007

Fifth Gear presenter and Touring Car driver Jason Plato has been hospitalised after the Caparo he was testing burst into flames at 150mph.

The T1 was being filmed for the TV show at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire, UK, on Monday when it ‘burst into flames at an estimated 150mph’. Plato received burns to his hands, face and neck, and was treated at hospital before being released overnight.

‘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,’ said Plato. ‘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.’

Plato was then rushed to three separate hospitals, including Stoke Mandeville’s specialist burns unit, but he was released later the same day. Caparo is investigating the cause of the fire, and nobody was available to comment.

CAR’s Chris Chilton, who also tested the T1 at Bruntingthorpe, said you could get some pretty serious speeds at the former airfield – he’s hit an indicated 195mph there in a Lamborghini Murcielago. Plato is currently leading the British Touring Car Championship – and happily it seems that his injuries can’t be too serious. He’s planning to compete in this weekend’s BTCC finale at Thruxton, where he could win the championship.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet