Morgan remains in top 10 after difficult weekend

category - touring car

Adam’s Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class was on the receiving end of some aggressive driving in the final race, which, frustratingly for Adam’s points’ haul, was a double-distance race with double points on offer.
 
Adam started the opening 12-lap race from 13th on the grid after a disappointing qualifying session in which he had a lap time disallowed for exceeding track limits. His second-best time meant that 13th was the reward but Adam did that time without any tow, the slipstream effect gained from closely following the car ahead to generate extra speed. With that in mind and his Championship success ballast, Adam was content to be just outside the top 10.
 
Adam made a good start on a wet track on which visibility and traction were at a premium. His front-wheel drive Mercedes slithered its way up into the top 10 with Adam keeping out of trouble. With a background in rallying, Adam used his car control to great effect to battle his way up into seventh place, but with others squabbling, Adam was run out wide in a battle late-race and he dropped back to 10th.
 
“That was irritating,” reckoned Adam. “I worked really hard in that race to gain places and then someone else has a slide and it compromises your own race. To be positive, we are in the points, we had good speed in the car and have shed a bit of weight ready for race two so it is not too bad a result.”
 
Adam converted his 10th place race one finish into his grid position for race two but Lady Luck wasn’t with him in Norfolk. As the road dried, leaving the drivers with a greasy surface, Adam’s car bogged down off the line as a result of an engine mapping inconsistency and the Mac Tools Mercedes fell to the rear of the pack leaving Adam in jeopardy against the less-experienced drivers. As one of those made a mistake at the Wilson Hairpin, Adam was tapped into a spin which damaged the exhaust system as the Fuchs Lubricant backed Mercedes-Benz ploughed across the wet grass. That did enough damage to render Adam a retirement from the race.
 
Ordinarily, race three’s grid would be based on the results of the second, but to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the BTCC, the final race was a longer event with a stand-alone qualifying session. Adam was seventh on the grid for the finalé and in confident mood as the car would run without any success ballast and the road was now bone dry.

Adam was in the leading gaggle, attacking for a place in the top five when a brief shower of rain came across just one small section of the circuit. As Adam braked for the Wilson Hairpin, the grip level changed and the Mercedes drifted slightly wide, but worse was to come when the car behind, Tom Chilton’s Ford Focus, also hit the rain and slid into the back of Adam. It wasn’t a big hit but enough to put Adam on the grass and drop back from fifth to 13thplace. Undaunted, The Morganator battled his way back into contention and joined a multi-car battle for sixth place but more contact was to come: this time he ran alongside Josh Cook’s Vauxhall Astra and the two touched. This time, as Cook moved to the right and glanced Adam’s car, the Mercedes was speared on to the grass and into the barriers. Not even Adam’s car control could save this slide and the resultant damage put him out of the race.
 
“I am so annoyed. We came here wanting points and a really good chance has been taken away, not by anything we have done but by the way others drive. We have lost out in the championship fight and in the Independents’ battle as well, on a weekend when we had good car speed and should have had a decent result. We will fight on but this has been a real setback for us. All we can do now is come out fighting and see what we can do for the rest of the season. Things do change quickly in this series so maybe we can salvage some of the lost ground.”
 
Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess said: “It was one of those weekends! You can only do what you can do and the team and Adam put their all into this weekend’s special format of races only for circumstances to intervene. To be put out of race three by contact was really galling, but Adam will bounce back and, to be positive, the car was good in the wet and the dry and with and without weight so ultimately we are confident that we have the tools for the job heading to Rockingham. All our guests, while bedraggled and wind-swept, admired Adam’s tenacity in race three and the groan when they saw him sliding out of the race underlined how much support he has. He’ll repay them in the best way no doubt, with more wins this season.”