Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan bounced back with three top 10 finishes and two independent category wins at a swelteringly-hot Snetterton in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
After a frustrating weekend last time out at Knockhill, Adam was in excellent form in qualifying as his Car Gods-backed 330e M Sport bounced back to be fifth quickest in the Saturday qualifying session.
As race one blasted into action, in front of a huge trackside audience and a massive audience on ITV, Adam pulled off a stunning move at Turn 4 to go around the outside of the similar BMW of Stephen Jelley for fourth place. The Morganator’s next target was the Hyundai of Tom Ingram, but Adam was never quite able to make a move. “The closer I got, the more the car became hotter and therefore a bit slower. To make a pass I would have to have made a dive from a long way back and I didn’t want to risk things in race one because after Knockhill I just wanted points. I was also trying to manage the heat, both in the machinery and me. So, fourth is a really good way to start the day.” Adam also won the Independents’ contest, easily mixing it with the manufacturer entries.
Starting race two from fourth on the grid, Adam again took the battle to Ingram’s Hyundai but despite a safety car intervention, wasn’t able to wriggle past, although he did win the Independents contest once again. “The car was good but I just seemed to be lacking that last tenth for some reason. I want to be up at the front and we are nearly there so we will look at the data for race three. But two fourths so far and two Independent wins is really good.”
The third race, with its semi-reversed grid, put Adam sixth on the grid, but he lost out at the start. Dropping to eighth, Adam was caught up in a huge traffic jam behind the damaged Honda Civic of Dan Rowbottom. “I made a fluff of the start and lost a couple of places. The pace was good at the start but I couldn’t get through the pack and I ended up eighth. I am a bit annoyed with myself and we don’t really know why it was so hard to make progress.” Eighth was Adam’s ultimate reward. “We’ve taken away some good points so, overall, I’m happy.”
The second Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s entry of George Gamble suffered a more frustrating day. After his victory at Knockhill, the BTCC’s latest first-time race-winner had drama on his way to the grid for race one: “The master switch popped out and turned off the power. It is the switch that the marshals can pull in an emergency that protrudes through the bonnet and somehow it just came out. That meant I had to be towed back to the pits…” explained George. Rather than start 15th, George had to join at the very back of the 29-car grid, but battled his way into the points before being run out wide in a three-car battle and dropping back down the order. Ever the fighter, George battled back to 16th at the end of the opening race. “Frustrated, but the car has good pace,” was how George summed up his race.
From 16th, George fought up to 14th in race two, again being mired in traffic, but happy to be in the points, whilst in race three, he started 14th and finished 13th after a big battle with Josh Cook (Honda Civic). “I got stuck behind Cook who was defending everywhere! I just needed a but more pace, but I won the Jack Sears Trophy in race three and was the best scorer over the day, so that’s positive.”
Said Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Ash Gallagher: “It’s been great to see Adam back up at the front of the grid this weekend and two Independent wins is fantastic after a couple of frustrating weekends for him. George’s dramas before race one were bizarre! We’ve never seen that before but he didn’t let that affect him and just got on with recovering. For a rookie in the championship, he drives like he has been here for years. With three top 10 finishes, two Independent wins and a Jack Sears Trophy win, plus sunburn, in front of all our fantastic sponsor's guests, we can’t complain!”
Adam now lies ninth in the championship with George 13th. Adam is second in the Independents' Championship just ahead of George, while Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport is sixth in the Teams’ Championship and second in the Independent Teams’ contest. George lies second in the jack Sears Trophy, just two points of the lead.
The championship moves next to Thruxton, Hampshire, on August 27/28, with qualifying shown on itv.com and all the Sunday race action on ITV4.