Morgan extinguishes Oulton Park demons
Adam Morgan added to his points tally in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park, Cheshire, yesterday highlighted by a stirring drive in the final race.
Adam’s Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class headed to the Cheshire circuit laden with 75 kilos of success ballast as the championship leader, and that was always going to hurt Adam on the hilly circuit. With plenty of inclines and the stop-start Island Bend hairpin, Adam inevitably struggled with the weight in qualifying but was running a different Oulton Park set-up which definitely helped. “The car feels good,” said The Morganator after the 30-minute qualifying session. “The balance is there and you can feel the car working well, but it is the weight that has hurt us. I was aiming for the top 15 so 19this a bit frustrating, but at least if we can lose the weight in race one, we will be set up fro the day.”
Adam suffered the problems of the narrow Oulton Park track in the opener, as he found it very hard to overtake without risking damage, allied to the very hot temperatures that meant that he had to drop back from the car ahead on occasions to let the engine cool down. Adam eventually netted 18thplace, out of the points, but losing all the success ballast for race two.
From 17thon the grid for race two, Adam battled up to 11thplace, helped by some opportunistic moves gaining places whenever he could. “That was a hard race because it really is narrow here and you don’t want to be taking risks all the time. I was able to gain places and was third quickest without the weight, so that is positive. Eleventh isn’t ideal, but it is points and we will fight on in the final race.”
Adam started the reverse grid third race from 11thon the grid but a huge start-line crash led to a stoppage and a shortened restart. Adam was in determined mood and battled his way up to fifth, passing Tom Chilton’s Ford Focus with a bold pass and keeping title rival Tom Ingram (Toyota Avensis) at bay. “To go from 11thto fifth on a track where it is hard to overtake is really good, so I am very pleased with that. We changed the rear of the car for race three and it worked very well, so Oulton is certainly no longer our bogey track. I’m second equal in the championship now, but because there are two of us tied on points, we carry the weight for the lower place, so I will have 57 kilos for Croft not 66. That will help as well and we need to keep banking points. We are not at halfway yet in the championship so we will all work forward to scoring each time out.”
Ciceley Motorsport’s Tom Oliphant endured another difficult weekend, Tom qualified a fantastic 10thIn race one on the tight and twisty undulating Oulton Park. Tom held his position until the last corner of the last lap when contact with Brett Smith pushed him wide and on to the grass, some brilliant driving allowed Tom to divert disaster and bring his Ciceley Commercials backed car home in 20thposition. Race two saw Tom make up 7 positions and finish in a creditable 13th. Tom was ready for race three and looking forward to breaking into the top ten when he was collected in a huge start line incident and his Phillips Mercedes-Benz A-Class was damaged too badly to take part in the re-start.
Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Manager Norman Burgess said: “Adam once again showed how much of a force he is in touring car racing. That was a champion’s drive in the final race. Adam pulled off some great overtakes and scored good points on a track where it is tough to overtake. We are second in the championship and second in the Independent’s Trophy now, but with more than half the season to go, we are perfectly placed to fight back. We had lots of sponsors and guests with us at Oulton Park and they were treated to some excellent racing and magnificent weather which all showcased the BTCC perfectly and underlined why this is the best championship to be in for action and reward. We head to Croft in confident mood and with less weight than Oulton Park, so we are after more points and podium finishes.”
Norman continued: “Unfortunately Tom’s baptism of fire continues, he has endured some terrible luck in his maiden BTCC season. Tom showed his pure class and rapid pace with a fantastic P10 in qualifying on his first visit to the undulating and very bumpy Oulton Park the unforgiving nature of this tight and twisty track caught him out twice and there was nothing he could do to prevent either incident. Tom really enjoys Croft and is just waiting for his chance to jump onto the Podium”
Adam now lies second equal in both the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and the Independents’ Trophy. The next races of the season will be at Croft, North Yorkshire, on June 23/24 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
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For more information on Ciceley Motorsport , visit www.adammorganracing.co.uk
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