Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship ace Adam Morgan bounced into title contention Sunday with a superb win at Thruxton, the UK’s fastest circuit, after 17 laps of intense pressure. It was Adam’s 11th career BTCC win.
The Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team arrived at the fast Hampshire circuit after two excellent weekends but found that the set-up of the BMW 330e M Sport wasn’t ideal. Tweaks were made in readiness for the second practice session and yet more for qualifying in which Adam, held up by a slower car battled to 12th fastest time and team-mate George Gamble 16th. Adam made a good start in the opening race and grabbed places in the opening lap scrum through the right-left-right sequence at the Complex and continued to push, grabbing ninth place from Stephen Jelley’s similar BMW 330e M Sport at Cobb on lap 11 and then grabbing another spot from Dan Lloyd’s Hyundai. When Gordon Shedden’s Honda Civic hit tyre dramas late-race, Adam gained another place to finish in seventh position.
“We made really good progress in that race,” said The Morgan. “It’s a very different car from yesterday and much more driveable. I looked after the tyres in that race, but we are really back in the game now.”
George also had a busy race, battling his way to 14th in what he described as a Banker race. “I found more pace, but I just couldn’t get through the traffic. The cars are so even, and the hybrid isn’t enough of a benefit to make passing possible. I was strong in some places and the cars ahead stronger in others, so it was a bit cat and mouse.”
The two BMWs lined up seventh and 14th on the grid for the second race, but George was in strife on the opening lap when he was clipped by Aidan Moffat’s Infiniti Q50 which pitched him into a high-speed spin. “I don’t know how I missed the wall…” he mused afterwards. “I wasn’t on my best tyres and there was no damage thankfully.” Ultimately, 20th was his reward with an “All-out assault plan” for race three.
In contrast, Adam, in his 300th BTCC race, made a good start with his rear-wheel drive technology but then lost a couple of places to front-wheel drive cars at the end of the lap. The BMW had the advantage off the line, but the front-wheel drive cars were able to make their tyres work sooner and hence fought back at the end of the lap. Adam pushed on, his tyres coming alive and fought up to sixth place. “That felt like a faster pace,” he reckoned, “and I had slightly higher tyre degradation as a result. I’m really pleased, though, with how the car has been transformed.”
Race three was set to be a thriller with the reverse grid draw putting Adam in second on the outside of the front row. And the Car Gods-supported BMW 330e M Sport launched clear of pole-sitter Jason Plato (Honda Civic) to lead to turn one. And there Adam stayed under race-long pressure from four-times champion Colin Turkington with Ash Sutton’s Ford Focus on their tail as well. Adam had to cope with a safety car situation, triggered by Stephen Jelley’s BMW spinning, and late-race rain. “My wipers weren’t working so as the visibility decreased, I was loosing reference points. That’s not ideal when you have Colin behind you.”
Like many drivers who are now learning about the hybrid system, Adam saved his for later in the race. “I didn’t use it for the first five laps and then started using it as the race wore on to try to get away from Colin.” Adam’s 11th career win was a special one. “I won’t forget this. The way that the whole Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team has turned the car around is awesome. That late night Saturday was well worth it.”
“We’ve come to all sorts of different tracks so far. We’ve got Thruxton which is incredibly high speed, Brands which is one of the slower tracks on the calendar and we’ve shown pace at both. There’s no reason this car can’t keep up with everybody else and be at the front. I say it every year but I’ve got a really positive feeling about this year and having George on board has really helped that as well. So we’re looking forward to it, we’re looking forward to the fight.”
The results from Thruxton move Adam into sixth place in the Drivers’ Championship and puts George 11th, with Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport now fourth in the Teams’ Championship. Adam lies second in the Independent Drivers’ standings with George third and Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport second in the Independent Teams’ Championship just four points off the leading squad.
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport backed Josh Rowledge smashed it to the top of the Ginetta junior championship that same weekend! Finishing 1st in the first race of the weekend he set himself up for an early lead however a slight knock in the second race brought him down to 4th position. With an impressive 223 points Josh has now secured the top place in the championship overall.
The next stop for the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship is at the team’s home circuit of Oulton Park on June 11/12, with qualifying shown on ITV.com on Saturday and the Raceday action starting on ITV1 before switching to ITV4 for the third race.
Kobe Garbett Brings In The Results At Cumbria Kart Racing Club
Young Kobe Garbett, Car Gods development driver had a storming weekend at the Rich Energy British Mini Bikes Championship. At Britain's biggest championship for tarmac mini bike racing, Kobe secured top three placements over three races which took him to overall 2nd in his class!
Kobe's dad Roman said; "Results are amazing, they really are, but what really matters is that Kobe has his smile back after such a tough period. I want to thank everyone that has supported Kobe on his journey so far, the future is bright."