Adam Morgan battled bravely at Brands Hatch in what was a tricky weekend for the Carlube TripleR Racing Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport driver.
The Pall-Ex supported racer headed into the second round of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Brands Hatch in good form, following a positive season opener at Donington Park just one week before.
However, this weekend proved to be somewhat more challenging for the Lancastrian, with Adam fighting hard for two points finishes, before a retirement in the third and final race of the day.
With confidence in the car, gained at the East Midlands circuit one week earlier, Adam qualified solidly, clocking a time good enough for 13th on the grid for Race One on Sunday.
From his starting position, Adam knew he was going to be in for a busy race, fighting amongst the midfield.
Starting at the heart of the pack can be hazardous as this tends to be where a lot of collisions take place, especially at the start of the race.
Adam showed his class to navigate the opening laps safely and enjoyed a close race, eventually climbing two places to claim a strong finish in 11th place.
After Race One, the Ciceley man commented; “It should have been better than that.”
“I’d made progress, but when Rory Butcher had his puncture and went off, it was pot luck as to where you were when he re-joined. He just got in my way and I was badly delayed, so I should have had P9 I reckon.”
Following his Race One result, Adam lined up in 11th place for the second race of the day, with optimism for yet another positive performance, thanks in part to the fact that he was now free of any success ballast.
This weight reduction made the car more responsive and aggressive, offering more pace overall.
Adam climbed into 10th position before a safety car neutralised proceedings.
Once the safety car returned to the pit lane, Morgan showcased his racing instinct as he made excellent progress towards the front of the pack.
Following a busy 18 laps of the iconic Kent circuit, Adam took the chequered flag in a brilliant sixth position, adding a further 10 points to his championship tally.
After this great performance, Adam described his race, saying: “As soon as the safety car peeled in I said, ‘Right, let’s go’ and the car felt good, really racy.
Our average pace was really good and I was happy to be fighting in the leading group.”
As the sun began to set on the second weekend of the BTCC in 2020, the teams prepared for the final race of the weekend.
Reigning BTCC champion, Colin Turkington had made the draw for the reverse grid, which gave Adam a starting position of seventh.
At lights out, Adam made a clean get away and looked to have made up ground on those in front of him.
Heading through the high-speed, first corner, Adam jostled for position and lined up a move into the hairpin at the top of the hill.
As he came out of the corner, the Accrington based racer looked to have edged past some rivals, but an out of control Senna Proctor instigated a chain-reaction that saw Adam slammed onto the grass.
Although he was able to keep his Mercedes-Benz A-Class out of the barrier, Adam re-joined the track towards the back of the pack, losing more positions.
The contact had caused severe damage to his steering and the detour over the grass began to cause overheating on the balmy August evening.
The Ciceley Motorsport team had no option but to retire the car from the race after just six laps.
Disappointed, Adam reflected on what could have been in Race Three. He commented: “We’d done some more set-up changes and the car felt really good, but I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Cars had collided ahead of me and then came across the road. The steering was damaged, my brakes were going, the car was overheating…. I decided it was better to park the car than risk anything worse happening. I’m really disappointed.
“The positives are that the pace was good in race two, the car felt good and with Steve Farrell on board, we have really good processes to work through and a sound methodology to understand what we want and how to achieve it.
I just need a bit more qualifying pace which gets you out of the mid-grid danger zone in Race One and that is just a tenth of a second which can make all the difference.”
The weekend’s results see Adam hold on to ninth position in the overall Drivers’ Championship and drops to fifth position in the Independent Drivers’ standings.
Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools also move into fifth place in the Independent Teams’ championship and ninth in the overall Team championships.
The BTCC now takes a week break, before heading to Oulton Park in Cheshire for Round Three on the 2020 season.
Qualifying will take place on Saturday 22nd August and will be shown live on ITV.com.
All three races, as well as every support race, can be seen live on Sunday 23rd August, on ITV4 and ITV HD.
In the mean-time, you can keep up-to-date with all the latest from the Adam Morgan and Ciceley Motorsport team and the BTCC on Twitter via the following links;
Adam Morgan - @AdamMorgan33
Cicely Motorsport - @CiceleyMSPort
BTCC - @BTCC