Adam Morgan has secured eighth position in the drivers' championship, following a fighting display during the season finale at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
The Ciceley Motorsport driver has enjoyed a successful campaign during the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), despite it being heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adam’s performance at the Kent circuit on Sunday saw him confirm his eighth position in the overall standings and meant he also claimed third spot in the Independents’ championship.
The truncated 2020 season has seen the Carlube Triple R Racing with Cataclean & Mac Tools Mercedes-Benz A-Class claim three podiums, including a win at Oulton Park, at the hands of the Pall-Ex sponsored racing driver.
Qualifying on Saturday saw the Lancastrian settle for a disappointing 17th place as a result of a wet session, creating slippery conditions that the Mercedes struggled with.
From this starting position on Sunday morning’s Race One, Adam hoped to make good progress in a car that he knew was inherently faster than its starting position.
However, the race would also take place on a wet track, meaning the team were careful not to be too ambitious.
Come lights out, however, Adam was in a feisty mood and managed to charge forward and stay out of any trouble, eventually taking the chequered flag in 11th position.
After the race, he commented; “I wasn’t expecting race one to be brilliant.”
“However, I moved up from 17th to 11th which was good and part of that was about keeping out of trouble. The car felt better and I was able to make decent progress.”
Later in the day, in Race Two, Adam and the team elected to fit slick (dry) tyres to the car as the wet track was showing signs that it was quickly drying in places.
A number of other cars elected to fit wet tyres, which once the race began, gave them an initial advantage as the track stayed damp.
However, after a few laps of the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, a dry line began to form and those on slicks began reeling in the early leaders on their wet tyres.
Adam and the car came alive as the track dried. So much so, the Ciceley driver was able to fight his way up into sixth place as the flag fell, securing yet another solid points haul.
Upon returning to the garage, Adam commented; “The car felt really good in the dry. As the road dried out the car felt better and better and it was a really good race.
It’s a good feeling to be able to pick off cars and gain places and that’s what we did.”
Following his sixth-place finish in Race Two, Adam would carry 30 KG of success ballast into Race Three.
Having shown strong pace in the dry, the team were hopeful that Adam’s forward momentum would continue in the final race of the season.
Unfortunately, heavy rain just before the race meant the team were faced with a dilemma, whether to stick with the fast, dry set-up that had worked so well in Race Two, or change the car to be better suited to the wet conditions.
After some debate, Adam and the team decided to stick with a dry set-up that had proved so successful and just swap the slick tyres for wets.
Amazingly, this proved to be a strong combination as Adam was able to climb up to second position early on, as championship contenders Cammish, Turkington and Sutton battled behind.
However, the Toyota of Tom Ingram snuck past to demote Adam to third, before Dan Cammish’s Honda made a clumsy move into the Druid’s hairpin, sending Adam into a half-spin.
This incident saw Adam fall back to fifth, where he would stay until the end of the race, a fitting performance to send the Mercedes off on a high note.
With the season now finally coming to a close, Adam and the Ciceley Motorsport team now say goodbye to the car that has served them so well in various guises for the last seven years.
Adam first drove the Mercedes in the 2014 BTCC season, and the car has been pivotal to his evermore successful BTCC career, claiming seven wins in the A-Class.
This season’s result is one of the best Adam has had in the BTCC, so it is a fitting send-off for the vehicle that has been with him and the team for so long.
Reflecting on his time with the car, Adam said; “It’s been a great car and even in its last race the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is still competitive.
“You could come and buy these two cars with a comprehensive spares package, be on the BTCC grid next season and be competitive, that is how good the car has proved to be.
“I’ve had a win this season and been regularly up at the front, so the car still has pace.
It’s the end of an era after seven years but we’ve had some great days and the first outright win for a Mercedes in the BTCC so we can be proud of what we have achieved.”
The weekend’s results not only confirm Adam’s eighth and third place in the overall and Independents’ championships respectively but they, along with the results of team-mate Jack Butel, secure the Carlube Triple R Racing with Cataclean & Mac Tools team eighth in the BTCC Teams’ Championship and fourth in the BTCC Independent Teams’ Championship.
The team already have their sights set on next season, when they will hope to build on this year’s success in an as yet, unspecified car.
The 2021 season is set to kick off on the weekend of the 3rd – 4th April at Brands Hatch.
Until then, you can keep up-to-date with all the latest news from the BTCC, Adam Morgan and the Ciceley Motorsport on Twitter via the following links;
BTCC - @BTCC
Adam Morgan - @AdamMorgan33
Cicely Motorsport - @CiceleyMSPort