A new winner took to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship history books at Brands Hatch, as Adam Morgan inherited a superb race two win as he plots a two-car attack for 2015 with Mercedes.
The Ciceley Racing man was one of the stars of the weekend at a Kent venue plagued by mixed conditions for the season finale, scoring a best qualifying result of fifth spot on Saturday in a lottery of a session before securing a fifth place finish in race one.
Much better was to then arrive for the youngster, as Morgan climbed the field to jostle with the works MGs of Triple Eight during a classic encounter.
Morgan overtook both MGs of Sam Tordoff and series runner-up, Jason Plato, in separate lunges at Druids corner to move into second, before taking the lead on lap 15 from Rob Collard‘s West Surrey Racing BMW. Unfortunately, the Mercedes A-Class drifted wide at Dingle Dell Bend half a lap later, gifting victory to Plato initially on the road.
However, the double champion was hit with a 20-second time penalty for earlier contact with eventual champion, Colin Turkington, gifting the elusive first win for Morgan who had flirted with the podium spots all season, putting him inside the top 10 in the championship.
“We got there in the end!”, Morgan beamed to The Checkered Flag after being declared winner of the second race thriller.
“It was probably the best race I think I’ve ever driven.”
“It was probably the best race I think I’ve ever driven; I had the car underneath me and it was absolutely amazing. The lads did a great job and set it up perfectly – the best that it’s ever been I would say.
“It’s great to be racing up there with the MGs and works Manufacturers. Whether we won it through an exclusion or however it happened, we knew that we had the pace to go on and win it anyway.”
Morgan’s only hunch was that the win was not won on the road at the time, although he dismissed that as anything to concern about considering the final rewards from the performance of the Mercedes outfit across the weekend.
Asked if the wide moment at Dingle Dell was frustrating, Morgan added: “Yeah, very! I don’t like making excuses, but I had a bit of pad knock-off from the corner before by banging over the kerbs, so I hit the brakes and my foot went to the floor, went in a bit too quick and lost the rear.
“Once I gathered my thoughts and got it back on track, I just thought ‘right, it’s happened’, and made sure to get the thing over the line for a podium at the end of the race.
“It’s just really come on race by race”, Morgan concluded on the overall performance of the car throughout 2014, having claimed 16 top-10 finishes and become the season’s 11th race winner.
“It gets quicker and quicker in the dry now, we’ve got the sweet spot and we’re top-five pace-wise.
“There’s no reason why we can’t be having wins and podiums for next season now. We’ll definitely be pushing on for next year.”
Attentions turn quickly in BTCC, with Morgan hinting that a two-car assault is the attention for the Mercedes team in 2015, following on from the late success of the A-Class in its promising rookie campaign with the former Ginetta GT Supercup champion behind the wheel.
On two cars, Morgan said: “Hopefully. If we can get a second license and another driver, then we’ve got a second car and we should be running two cars in 2015.”