Drivers Adam Morgan and George Gamble hustled their Car Gods-backed BMW 330e M Sports to run in the leading pack in all three races as the championship came to its close. Adam, despite a puncture in practice, qualified eighth for the opening race with George securing 13th on the grid, with the leading 17 cars all covered by one second.
With a four-way championship fight taking up attention, Adam ran with the leading group in race one, battling his way up to fourth place before championship hopefuls Jake Hill and Colin Turkington, also BMW-mounted, forced a way past. Adam’s sixth place gave him the Independents’ category win. George made storming progress up from 13th, with eighth being his reward after a mighty drive.
Adam made a good start to race two to run sixth early on, but by half-distance he was up to fifth at the expense of the similar BMW of Colin Turkington. However, once again, championship hopeful Turkington battled back ahead and as Adam was forced out wide, reigning champion Ash Sutton (Ford Focus) nipped by as well. That dropped Adam to the back of the top six, where he battled with George late in the race, the pair trading the place in a fierce fight at Graham Hill Bend, all shown live on ITV4. Adam crossed the line sixth ahead of George to win the Independents’ class again, but the Nottinghamshire racer had picked up a five-second penalty for being out of position on the start grid and hence fell to 11th in the final results.
Race three, the final round of the championship, began with Adam fifth on the grid and George 11th. Adam made another blistering start to grab third but had to wait for a couple of laps before his Goodyear tyres came up to operating temperature before he could really attack. Adam inherited second place after Bobby Thompson’s Cupra retired smokily but after a safety car period, the opposition was on the attack. Josh Cook’s Honda battled by as Adam went wide, so he couldn’t defend his line, meaning that he fell to sixth place. There was contact at the Druids Hairpin with Dan Cammish (Ford Focus) which turned around Adam and dropped him to 24th. Ultimately, an engine gremlin put him out of the race. It was left to George to uphold the team’s honour, and he stormed up to sixth place by the end of the race to round out a great rookie season.
Said Adam: “I was really disappointed for the season to finish as it did. I made good progress up to second and then Josh made a switchback on me which let Ash get through and he defended so strongly it brought everyone else back on to my tail so then I got tagged by Cammish. The engine cut out three laps from home and I restarted it but then it cut out again and wouldn’t restart. The car was good today and I need to match that in every race as well.”
George reflected: “My pace was really good. I made loads of ground in race one and then came through again in race three to get sixth, so I was really pleased with the speed in the car. It was a really strong car all day, the pace was mega and it didn’t drop away in the races. It’s been a year of highs and lows and I’d love to be back on the grid next year. People forget I’ve had three seasons out of racing, and so the time in the car is essential. It’s been a great end to the season.”
Ash Gallagher, Ciceley Motorsport Commercial Director said: “It has been a weekend that reflected our season. Excellent pace, some bad luck, massive commitment from our drivers and satisfaction in the pace of our cars. The whole Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team has worked tirelessly this year, we have had two wins, we have adapted to the hybrid technology and been competitive at pretty much every circuit we have visited.”
Adam’s season, including one win and one third place, netted ninth in the Drivers’ Championship and second in the Independents’ Championship, in which he took eight wins. George, who won at Knockhill and also had a further third place, ended his maiden BTCC season 13th and took fourth in the Independents’ Championship and second in the Jack Sears Trophy for drivers without an outright podium at the start of the season.
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport ended the season seventh in the Teams’ Championship and second in the Independent Teams’ standings.
The 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship begins at Donington Park on April 22/23.