Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport endured a tough time at Oulton Park over the weekend. With an incident in race one which fired Adam Morgan into the barriers, it foretold a difficult Raceday climb for the BTCC veteran. Team-mate George Gamble made the best of his weekend, racing at Oulton for the first time since 2019. Both would have their race craft tested as the challenges ahead got underway.
After Adam’s win at Thruxton, the team arrived at Oulton Park in optimistic mood and worked hard on the set-up of the BMW 330e M Sport and improved the cars across the two free practice sessions ready for qualifying. Adam had a very strong qualifying session, described by Chief Engineer Steve Farrell as, “One of his best sessions: consistent and full of controlled aggression.” Fourth was Adam’s reward while George was 13th, admitting to being less confident here than at other circuits and eager to make progress in race one.
The opening race of the day, in front of a huge trackside crowd and a massive television audience on ITV main channel, began with Adam fighting hard to get his tyres up to operating temperature. “It takes about three laps before they become warm enough, so those first few laps were always going to be a challenge.” Adam ran fifth in the opening laps, waiting for the Goodyear rubber to switch on to and enable him to make a move, but leaving Lodge Corner on lap four, Adam was turned sideways by Gordon Shedden’s Honda Civic and as Shedden kept his foot in, he span Adam’s BMW 330e M Sport into the barriers. The hit broke a front and rear upright, putting Adam out of the race and dropping him to the rear of the grid for race two. “Shedden just turned me around,” said Adam. “He was never alongside me and once he hit me, there was nothing I could do to save it because he kept pushing.” Shedden was docked three places for the incident, but it didn’t save Adam’s day.
George, by his own admission, “Made a poor start. I bogged down a bit because the rear tyres were a bit hot, and I lost places but was fighting back as best I could. The trouble here is that it’s narrow and I got stuck in traffic and just couldn’t make progress. The car felt fast but I never had the space to pass people.” George came home a frustrated 18th.
Adam was one of the stars of race two as he drove an outstanding race coming from 29th on the grid to 16th place at the end. Adam picked off place after place with some inspired overtaking moves, including a great-late race battle with double-champion Jason Plato (Honda Civic) which culminated in Adam’s Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW passing around the outside on the final lap. “The pace was really good,” said Adam, “and we should have been up at the front. I had strong pace but it was tough to overtake.” Adam’s 13-place gain underlined his commitment.
George had another tough race, getting roughed up early on after a clash with Ollie Jackson’s Ford Focus and picking up damage, resulting in another 18th place, while worse was to come after contact caused a suspension failure in race three and forced retirement.
Adam, from 16th on the grid for the final race, was on a mission and blasted up to eighth place, once more proving his creativity in overtaking and salvaging points after a disappointing day.
“There’s no doubt that we should have done better and that collision in race one really set us back,” said Adam, “but the biggest positive is how well the car went all weekend and, while this has been a knock on the championship, I’ll bounce back hunting for race wins.”
Adam now lies eighth in the championship and second in the independents’ standings, while Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport is sixth in the BTCC Teams championship and second in the Independent Teams’ competition. George is second in the Jack Sears Trophy for drivers who hadn’t scored an outright podium before the opening race of the year.
The championship moves further north in two weeks’ time to Croft, near Darlington, Qualifying will be shown on itv.com on Saturday June 25th, with all the Raceday action on ITV4 on June 26th.