Adam Morgan endured a challenging weekend as he suffered two retirements at a soggy Silverstone.
As a result of this, the penultimate race weekend of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) was sadly one to forget for Adam and the Ciceley Motorsport team.
The Pall-Ex backed racer’s weekend started well, having posted very competitive times in both practice sessions on Friday.
His efforts saw him place eighth and ninth in the two sessions on Saturday.
With the practice performances in the bag, Adam looked set to build on his strong pace in qualifying and secure one of the top positions on the grid for Race One on Sunday.
However, during his first run, disaster struck.
Whilst changing gear, Adam’s gear stick snapped clean off in his hand, something that should be impossible, as the part is made from a single piece of metal that is also used for roll-cages.
This bizarre failure meant the Lancastrian had to abort his run and the Ciceley Motorsport team were forced to create a makeshift replacement part from a piece of copper tubing.
The quick fix enabled Adam to head back out to complete a flying lap, but his performance was severely hindered, meaning he could only manage 23rd place in the timings, meaning starting from towards the back of the grid on for Race One.
Sunday morning saw dark clouds sit over the circuit, with heavy downpours leaving the track treacherous and very slippery.
Adam lined up in 23rd on the grid, opting for slick (dry) tyres on a drying track, as the rain looked set to stay away for the duration of Race One.
From his low starting position, Adam was on a mission to recover lost ground and return to the top ten.
Within the first few laps, he drove brilliantly, showing his pace and skill in order to scythe through the midfield.
Soon, he found himself following close behind the BMW of title contender Andrew Jordan.
In the latter stages of the 22-lap race around the National circuit at Silverstone, Adam found the Ford Focus of Tom Chilton blocking his path.
Chilton proved to be a tough car to pass, and it seemed that Adam would have to settle for ninth place.
In the final corners of the race, Adam was able to claw past Chilton with a great move and the Pall-Ex racer claimed eighth position, to round off a fantastic recovery drive.
Following the race, an elated Adam commented; “We made some changes after qualifying and then some more before we went to the grid when we saw the weather.
Those last-minute adjustments were a big help as it transformed the car and I was instantly in the mix. I gained some places early on and the car had good pace so that was excellent and it switched on really well – it didn’t take long to get the tyres to work so that was a great result. To gain so many places and be up the grid for race two is a major boost.
Following the lunch break, Adam lined up in eighth place on the grid, looking to climb further into the points.
Yet again, the weather looked changeable and some runners opted for dry tyres, whilst others gambled on wets.
With a strong starting position to lose, Adam didn’t risk running on wet tyres, as the start of the race at least was dry.
By the time the cars were racing, the rain had begun to fall, making conditions extremely tricky for any drivers on slick tyres.
With track conditions now more like an ice-rink, wet tyres now were the tyre to be on.
Unfortunately, as he entered the braking zone into Becketts, Adam lost control of his Mercedes Benz A-Class and spun into the gravel, where he was unable to get going again.
This ended his race and left him bitterly disappointed.
Once he returned to the garage, Adam set about looking at his data with his engineers and began working out the best way to score points in Race Three.
Starting in 25th position, he had it all to do in the final race of the day.
The weather for Race Three was once again very changeable, meaning drivers had to make the decision between dry and wet tyres one more time.
Adam gambled on to stay on dry tyres, and soon after lights out, he was making good progress through the field.
Rain began to fall heavily and soon drivers on slick tyres were coming in to change to wet tyres.
However, Adam opted to stay out and capitalise on the progress he had made.
As he has done so often this year, he was showing his pace in tough conditions.
Unfortunately, Adam was tagged by Jason Plato’s Vauxhall Astra, which damaged his right rear suspension.
Despite trying to continue, Adam was visibly struggling with the handling of the car and was forced to retire from the race, yet again.
After what overall, had been a weekend of disappointment, Adam reflected on his performance, saying; "I’m gutted. There was so much potential this weekend and it just hasn’t happened for different reasons.
“Qualifying had its issues, I had my spin but then to be hit in the last race was really tough to take, as it wasn’t my fault. A hit on a different part of the car would have been a different outcome so it was really bad luck.
All that said, the car felt strong this weekend, we had good pace and I feel we were only a tiny fraction away from having a really good weekend. Certainly, where we are now is a very different place from the start of the season.”
Adam leaves Silverstone in 12th place in the overall championship standings and sixth in the Independent Driver Championship and will be pushing to improve on those positions in the final round of the season.
Adam and the Ciceley Motorsport team will give their all next time out in the season finale at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time on the weekend of the 12-13th October.
As always you can watch all of the races live on ITV4 Sunday 13th October, with the programme start time yet to be announced. You can keep up to date with this here.
In the meantime, you can keep up to date with all the news from the BTCC here