Mighty Morgan moves into BTCC championship lead
Adam Morgan enjoyed a stellar weekend at Thruxton with a second win of the season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship to move into the lead of the ultra-competitive championship.
Adam’s Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class came into the weekend lying second in the title race and so had to carry the regulation 66 kilos of success ballast for qualifying and the opening race. The extra weight certainly made its presence felt in qualifying as Adam battled to 12thfastest time around the ultra-fast Hampshire speed bowl.
“The weight certainly hurt us, but we’re happy,” said Adam after the 30-minute session. “I was aiming for the top 15 so the outcome is good and the lap I did was a committed one: I was hanging on for dear life on the fast bits! We have strong race pace and want to work forward in race one and lose the success weight.”
In sweltering temperatures, Adam bogged down at the start and lost ground to the pack, but soon battled his way back into contention, diving past the sister Fuchs Lubricants backed Mercedes-Benz A-Class of Tom Oliphant at the ultra-fast Church Corner before setting off in pursuit of the pack ahead.
“I completely messed up the start,” admitted The Morganator. “By the time I had worked through the traffic, the gaps had opened up ahead of me and with the weight I was carrying, I just couldn’t catch them.” Adam finished a frustrated 14thbut lost all the weight from the car in readiness for race two.
From 14thon the grid, Adam charged his way up to seventh place in a much lighter car. That resulted not only gave Adam vital championship points, but also put him in to the 12 which are eligible for the reverse grid draw. When the magic number was revealed, it was seven, meaning that Adam would start the final race on pole position.
Now carrying 27 kilos of success ballast after taking seventh place in race two, Adam drove the race of his life as he built a gap on the opening lap and preserved his advantage and protected his tyres on the abrasive track surface. Behind him, a charging Jack Goff brought his Honda Civic into second place with a couple of laps ago, but Adam stretched the margin to score a sixth career win and his second of the 2018 campaign. With it, Adam assumed the championship lead.
“I’d gone through the race in my head,” said a delighted Adam post-race. “My plan was to get a good start and try to lead to the Complex and then just go! I pushed hard for the first six or seven laps but I had Senna Proctor (Vauxhall Astra) pushing hard behind me. I panicked a bit when I saw Jack Goff closing when he got past Proctor but when I realised he wasn’t going to catch me, I actually enjoyed the last lap and am really chuffed for the team.
“We made some adjustments for race three with the hotter temperatures today and although this has never been our best track we were good for straightline speed today.
“Now we go to Oulton Park, which has never been that kind to us, with the full 75 kilos on board as championship leaders so that will be a challenge….”
Ciceley Motorsports Tom Oliphant endured another frustrating day in his maiden BTCC season. After qualifying a very creditable 16thTom’s race pace looked in good shape and when he finished 17thin race one, his first visit in a front wheel drive car to the fastest track in the country. Tom was looking forward to moving up in the order in race 2 unfortunate contact with Ford’s James Cole broke the suspension on his Phillips backed Mercedes A-Class and he was forced to retire and start race 3 from the back of the grid. Oliphant’s rapid pace saw him move from 32ndto finish a fantastic 19thAlthough disappointed with his race 2 incident Tom was optimistic about both himself and his car and looking forward to the chance of showing his ability at his home track Oulton in 3 weeks’ time.
Commercial Director Norman Burgess said: To be the championship leader in a series as competitive as this is just awesome. Adam’s performance in that last race was exemplary: he never looked under pressure and never put a wheel out of line. It was a brilliant drive and one richly enjoyed by our Mac Tools, Lunar Caravans and Pallex guests who enjoyed the sweltering conditions and has the perfect end to their BTCC experience. Oulton Park will be a challenge for us but we go there more optimistic than ever and hope to avenge last year’s bad luck.”
Norman Continued “Tom Oliphant has had some terrible luck so far this year, he has immediately taken to the Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes, his lap times are right up there, once he gets the rub of the green he will be fighting at the front, of that we have no doubt. Hopefully Oulton will be the end of his wretched luck and he can show his supporters exactly what he is capable of! Tom has still had a great start to the season and is more than holding his own with the Championships established drivers….. Watch this space”!!!
Adam’s results move him in the lead of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship by just one point and the lead of the Independents’ Trophy by five points, with Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport now leading the Independent Teams’ Championship.
The next races of the season will be at Oulton Park, Cheshire, on June 9/10 and all the action will be live and exclusive on ITV4 on raceday.
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For more information on Adam Morgan and Ciceley Motorsport, visit www.adammorganracing.co.uk / www.mactoolsracing.com
Contact the teams Commercial & Marketing Director Norman Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Ciceley Motorsport , visit www.adammorganracing.co.uk / www.mactoolsracing.com
The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) was formed in 1958 and is Britain's most popular motor racing spectacle. Its race season comprises ten events at top circuits across the UK. It is contested by professional racing drivers in competition versions of every day road cars, giving it tremendous public appeal. Some 325,000 watch the BTCC trackside each year. It is also receives widespread UK TV exposure on the ITV network with all ten race events broadcast live on ITV4, ITV4 HD and www.itv.com