Video: Adam Morgan reflects on the opening weekend at Brands Hatch
The Ciceley Motorsport-run WIX Racing team enjoyed a solid start to the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season, taking three points finishes from the opening three races of the year at Brands Hatch.
The Lancashire-based team went into the weekend keen to impress in the first race meeting for its all-new Mercedes A-Class, with driver Adam Morgan seeking to try and replicate the impressive results he had secured in the corresponding event last year.
After a solid showing in Saturday’s two practice sessions, Adam was able to qualify just three-tenths of a second off pole position, although the hugely competitive nature of the field meant that left him 14th on the timesheets ahead of Sunday’s three races.
From the seventh row of the grid, Adam was hopeful of challenging for a place inside the top ten when the opening race kicked off, holding position through a busy opening lap.
As the race wore on, he became embroiled in a battle with the Ford of Dave Newsham and the Vauxhall of Jack Goff before bringing the Mercedes home to the flag in 13th place; giving the WIX Racing team points on its first race with the all-new car, despite a slow puncture in the final laps.
Starting race two from the same position, Adam made a storming start and avoided chaotic scenes ahead through the opening corners to emerge from lap one up in seventh place, with the Safety Car then being deployed to remove a stricken car from the Paddock Hill gravel trap.
When the race resumed, Adam was able to keep pace with the three eBay Motors BMWs ahead but came under increasing pressure from Aron Smith, who managed to find a way through on lap 17. Holding his position through to the finish, despite a further Safety Car period, Adam successfully picked up his first top ten result of the campaign with eighth.
A post race penalty for Smith promoted Adam to seventh, which is where he then lined up for the final race of the weekend. Making up a place when the lights went out, Adam ran with the train of cars ahead in sixth spot, before moving up to fifth when Nick Foster was handed a drive-through penalty for being out of position at the start.
Following a mid-race Safety Car period, Adam found himself under increasing pressure from the chasing pack and with the performance of his soft compound Dunlop tyre starting to drop away, he slipped back to tenth by the time the chequered flag dropped.
Despite that, Adam ends his first weekend at the wheel of the new Mercedes sitting seventh in the championship standings and fourth in the Independents’ Trophy, with WIX Racing in seventh in the HiQ Teams’ Championship.