Morgan battles to second in Donington BTCC thrillers
MAC Tools-sponsored Adam Morgan rounded out his weekend with second place at Donington Park in the sixth round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Adam’s weekend began with the Saturday qualifying session in which his Ciceley Motorsport-run Mercedes-Benz A-Class, carrying 48 kilos of success ballast, never quite got a clear lap in and also struggled with the balance of the car with the extra weight. However, from eighth on the grid, Adam was confident of a good result in the opening 16-lap race and stormed into contention as he closed on reigning champion Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic) for sixth place.
However, Shedden moved across on Adam whose WIX Filters-backed Mercedes was not to be denied as Adam kept his right foot nailed to the floor and, with two wheels on the grass, powered through into sixth spot! It was a great move, cheered to the echo by the MAC Tools guests, but before long both Adam and Shedden were caught and passed by a charging Rob Collard (BMW 125i M Sport). Adam crossed the line in seventh place but was deemed to have gained an unfair advantage by passing Shedden on the grass, and was given a time penalty to drop him behind the reigning champion.
“I didn’t expect a complaint about that,” said The Morganator after the race. “I thought it was a good move and I didn’t really see how I gained an advantage by having two wheels on the grass in a straight line. However, the penalty was given and we have to move on.”
Adam carried 27 kilos of success ballast into the second race from which he started eighth on the grid and he battled his way into contention running on the harder, option tyre. Adam yo-yoed his way up the order as a fierce fight raged on behind fellow Mercedes-Benz A-Class racer Aiden Moffat who, with 75 kilos of weight, was the cork in the bottle by keeping the quicker, lighter cars at bay. Eventually, the Ribchester Rocket battled home in 11th place but was frustrated to miss out on the chance to be in the top 10 eligible for the reverse grid draw.
“The car wasn’t as good on the harder tyre,” explained Adam, “and I made a few mistakes early on. I then had to bring it back and aim for a top 10 finish that I just missed out on.”
Adam started the third race 11th on the grid but a heavy downpour before the race started left the circuit awash and the drivers having to cope with spray. Within a lap, the race was red-flagged and stopped, ready for a restart when track conditions improved.
“I was frustrated by that,” said Adam, “as I had got up from 11th to sixth! I had to do it all over again.”
Adam made a great restart and with a good feeling from the car that induced confidence, continued to push. Adam battled his way up the order, his pace improving with every lap as the car became stronger and gave Adam extra confidence to push. With just a handful of laps to go, Adam was bearing down on a battle ahead for third place in which Dave Newsham (Chevrolet Cruze) and Ash Sutton (Subaru Levorg) disputed third place. As the two squabbled, Adam charged into contention and was within striking distance as they started the last lap. As Sutton and Newsham ran together into the final chicane, a gap opened up allowing Adam to pull off a fantastic opportunistic move and grab third place as the trio charged towards the line. Better news was to come for Adam after on-the-road race winner Gordon Shedden was excluded for a technical infringement allowing Adam up to second place behind race winner Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport).
“That is a great way to end the weekend,” said Adam. “The car just got better and better and I wasn’t expecting to be on for a podium finish, but the car was just so good,. It is a major boost because in the past we have struggled for set up in the wet and we seem to be on top of that now. Three points finishes is good, but second place is a great end to the weekend and we go to Thruxton in confident mood.”
Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess said: “Adam has done a cracking job this weekend, especially in race three in the wet and the spray, with late afternoon sunshine adding to the difficulties for the drivers. The way that Adam drove was exceptional and to pull off such a great move at the last corner to take third which later became second went down a storm with the team’s guests who urged him over the line.
“Adam is now third in the championship and second in the Independents’ competition with Ciceley Motorsport second in the Independent Teams’ championship, so we have a lot to cheer about. We won at Thruxton last year and that is where we head next.”
Norman Continued “We must give a mention to Max Coates in the Ciceley Motorsport Clio team who earned two fantastic wins this weekend. Max showed his class after a difficult qualifying session and as the cream of the crop, he rose to the top again to maintain his 2017 Renault UK Clio Championship assault. The entire Clio Team are doing really well with Sam Osbourne claiming his first double top ten finished this weekend, Jade Edwards and Luke Reade have had some really bad luck, but both are ready to show what they can do at the next round.
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship moves on to the fastest circuit on the championship calendar, Thruxton in Hampshire, on May 6/7.
Adam Morgan and his Ciceley Motorsport Team are 3rd in the Drivers Standings on 69 points he is 2nd in the Independents Driver Standings. The Ciceley Motorsport Team are 2nd in the Independent Teams championship and 4th in the Teams Standings.
Attached images provided by B2pjk Media, please credit where used [email protected]
For more information on Adam Morgan and Ciceley Motorsport, visit www.adammorganracing.co.uk
Contact the teams Commercial & Marketing Director Norman Burgess at [email protected]
For more information on Ciceley Motorsport , visit www.adammorganracing.co.uk
comments powered by Disqus