Btcc round 1
Lancashire’s Adam Morgan and his Ciceley Motorsport team travelled to Brands Hatch 4th/ 5th April host for round 1 of the MSA Dunlop British Touring Car Championship. Adam replicated his performance of last year and his intelligent, aggressive, committed driving style again delivered 3 strong point scoring positions in the WIX Racing A Class Mercedes.
Things didn’t go to plan for Adam in Saturday’s qualification session an uncharacteristic error saw Adam run off the track in the tricky conditions going into McLaren. Adam lost time rejoining the track and was then held up by cars and unable to lay down the impressive times he had shown in the free practice sessions. Adam qualified for the first race on Sunday in 12th position, still only 4 tenths from pole.
Adam admitted “I made a bit of a school boy error trying too hard. I hit the curbs a little too aggressively going into Surtees and this unsettled the car, this caused me to run wide and I just managed to stop before the safety barrier, valuable time was lost rejoining the session due to the rain soaked grass. Because of this, our tyre strategy was compromised and I had to warm the tyres again”
From the sixth row of the grid, Adam was confident of a place within the top ten, during the opening busy few laps contact with another car damaged the WIX Racing Mercedes front left suspension, Adam still managed to bring his car home in 11th place.
Race two saw Adam produce an outstanding start and drive after being held up by Rob Collards BMW in the early part of the race Adam made his move and set up a perfect move into Graham Hill bend to move up 3 places, he then began to close the gap on the reigning BTCC Champion Colin Turkington. Unfortunately Adam ran out of laps but a superb fourth place finish showed just what he and his WIX Racing Mercedes are capable of achieving.
Adam started the reverse grid, third race of the afternoon in 7th with 48 kilograms of weight added to his car due to his success in race two and on the compulsory soft compound Dunlop tyre. The incident packed race saw the safety car deployed for a number laps. The soft tyres soon lost their adhesion and Adam struggled with the cars handling. A masterful driving display saw Adam hold off 3 time World Touring Car Champion and factory BMW driver Andy Priaulx and finish his day with a magnificent seventh.
“All in all I am very happy with the way today panned out” Claimed Morgan “This is one of the tightest tracks on the calendar our fourth place in race two was the highlight of the day. The WIX Racing Mercedes has performed brilliantly, I did pick up some damage in the early part of race 1 which made things interesting but the team have been meticulous in their preparation of the car and I am very grateful for the commitment, dedication, effort and long hours they continue to give to me and the car. The team showed their true spirit this weekend when we received the devastating news that our close friend and team chef Steve Rossi had passed away in our hotel on Saturday evening. We all worked very closely with Steve and his sense of humour and presence will be missed by us all”.
Norman Burgess Commercial and Marketing Manager, “we were blessed with glorious sunshine all day on Sunday. Adam and the engineering side of the team delivered yet again this weekend and for the third consecutive year running scored points in all 3 races another solid start to the year and our championship campaign. Norman continued “We hosted 80 VIP guests and everybody really enjoyed the day. The news of Steve’s passing came as a complete shock to everybody and the hospitality staff who worked very closely with Steve did a remarkable job all day. We are very proud of every single member of our team and the drive and determination to get the job done they all showed on Sunday morning under the most difficult of circumstances was astounding”.
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