Morgan the Magnificent!
Adam Morgan and his family run Ciceley Motorsport, WIX Racing Backed Team enjoyed a fantastic British Touring Car Championship Weekend at Thruxton, Hampshire, in their WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class, cumulating in his first outright win of the 2015 racing season. Adam’s flawless driving display secured plenty of podium success throughout race day, a third outright position, two Independent victories and a brilliant ‘flag to flag’ outright win in the day’s final race to cap off a brilliant team performance and capture an impressive Championship points haul.
The 2.34 mile abrasive Thruxton race circuit is the fastest in the country so tyre management and car set up is probably more important at the venue than anywhere else on the calendar. Adams weekend started with 2 free practice sessions and then the all important afternoon qualifying session. In FP 1 Adam completed an impressive race distance simulation run, for FP 2 set up changes were made to his Mercedes-Benz A-Class to dial in the car perfectly for qualifying. Adam was immediately at the sharp end of the grid, his engineer brought the car in for new tyres and he hit the track quietly confident of a good qualifying position. Unfortunately a high speed collision between the Toyota of Simon Belcher and Ford Focus of Mike Bushell resulted in a massive crash and the session was stopped for over 30 minutes while the incident was resolved, thankfully both drivers are Okay. When the session was re-started, with only ten minutes to go, Adam went straight to pole position only for the lap to be taken away from him for exceeding track limits. Undeterred he achieved a pole position time twice again in the closing stages and when the session ended Adam had ensured a second row start in 4th position.
In Race 1 Adam made a solid start and was largely untroubled holding his 4th position for the majority of the race mindful of the abrasive surface on the rapid track and the tyre management required to finish each race on specially developed Dunlop rubber. Aron Smith suffered a puncture and Adam swiftly moved into 3rd place steadily catching previous champion Matt Neil while keeping 2 times Champion Jason Plato 7 seconds behind. Adam finished the race in third place to secure his first podium of the year and win the Independent drivers category. Adam “Mint, a brilliant start to the day, the team have done it again, the WIX Racing Mercedes A-Class was spot on, I couldn’t ask any more of them, I am so grateful to my sponsors and the team for the tremendous support that allows me to compete at this level in the sport I love”
Race 2 Adam lined up again on the second row of the grid after setting the 3rd fastest lap time in race 1. The rear wheeled drive BMW of 3 times World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx was able to use its advantage and sneak alongside Adam going into turn 1 but he then appeared to lose traction and slid into the WIX Racing Mercedes causing Adam to take evasive action and running onto the grass. However, an outstanding piece of driving saw Adam able to control his slide and rejoin the track in tenth place. Adam collected large amounts of debris into the cars air intakes and was unable to aggressively move forward until this was dislodged as his cars water and oil temperature were reaching concerning levels. Adam coolly managed the situation on track and his determined performance saw him bring the A-Class home in a further points scoring 8th place. “Phew, that was a close call. I am of course disappointed that I was forced off track but things could have been a lot worse if I had come in and had the grass removed from the air intake the temperature was rising massively and it was a brave call from my engineer Paul Ridgway to leave me out on track as we could have wrecked the engine” Morgan continued “I was getting a little frustrated as I had the speed but was having to manage the engine and tyre issues the contact caused so was unable to chase the pack. I don’t think I have ever been as relieved to see a chequered flag”
The final race of the day saw Adam head the field and line up in pole position. After a perfect start Adam immediately pulled away from the rest of the pack and his flawless driving earned him a 3 second lead by lap 9. Warren Scott crashed his Volkswagen CC and the safety car was deployed while the stricken car was removed and the safety barrier repaired. Morgan held his nerve and at the re-start again pulled away from the pack and his intelligent, considered racing strategy allowed him to take his WIX Racing Mercedes to his second ever overall career victory a comfortable 2 seconds in front of the works MG of Andrew Jordan. “You are probably sick and tired of hearing this, but I am not tired of saying it, it’s the team and my sponsors that deserves the praise for this win, the faith, time and investment in our team is amazing and we couldn’t do what we do or achieve what we achieve without every piece however big or small that makes up this jigsaw. To stand on the top step of a British Touring Car Championship podium, listening to the National Anthem is an unbelievable sensation and an honour, thank you to WIX Filtration all my sponsors and everybody involved with our team, Mega”
Norman Burgess Commercial and Marketing Manager “The team hosted 80 VIP guests this weekend and the atmosphere within the hospitality suite was electric. Adam, the engineering and hospitality teams have been immense. The drive, motivation and determination displayed by team members and sponsors is astounding, it’s a brilliant project to be involved in. Adam continues to deliver a committed, impeccable performance each and every race weekend he works tirelessly both at and away from the track and fully deserves the success this brings him. The entire grandstand were on their feet and the applause was audible even above the engine note of the WIX Racing Mercedes A-Class as he crossed the line to take the win” Norman continued “Everybody would appear to like our Adam! I received over 100 texts and the social media outlets surrounding the team have gone into meltdown. Adams unassuming, modest nature endears him to the series fans and his popularity continues to grow massively each and every weekend. Oulton Park is next and the entire team can’t wait”
Adams magnificent weekend further cements and improves his position within the Championship he is currently 6th in the overall Championship only 16 points behind Championship leader Gordon Shedden on 98 points, 2nd in the Independent Championship 4 points behind current BTCC Champion Colin Turkington. The WIX Filters Racing Team are 5th in the overall Teams Standings, first single car entry and 2nd in the Independent Team championship behind the 4 cars of Team BMR.