Adam Morgan grabbed a hard-fought victory in the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Brands Hatch.
The Ciceley Racing man came under intense pressure in the final five tours of the 27-lap encounter, but held on despite the efforts of West Surrey Racing‘s Sam Tordoff and Jack Goff.
The rear-wheel drive BMW 125i of Tordoff held the lead from pole position, but that lead latest merely a lap as Morgan’s tighter exit from Clearways saw him squeeze through into the lead.
Motorbase Performance had the biggest scare of the opening lap however behind them, Andrew Jordan tagged into a lurid half-spin by Ford team-mate Mat Jackson who subsequently dropped back after a moment under safety car conditions two laps later.
After the interruption – caused by Kelvin Flecther‘s beached Chevrolet Cruze at Paddock Hill Bend – Morgan continued to head Tordoff up front, while the heavily-ballasted Halfords Yuasa Racing Hondas carved their way past Aron Smith‘s Volkswagen CC.
Having started eighth on the grid, Matt Neal soon grabbed fourth place with a typically opportunistic lunge inside Jordan’s Ford Focus ST at Clearways on lap 10, leaving the 2013 champion in the clutches of Rob Collard who made strong progress from 16th.
Morgan’s soft tyre-shod Mercedes A-Class began to see its lead trimmed in the later third of the race by the WSR BMWs of Tordoff and Goff, the duo both right on the leader’s tail with six laps to go.
Try as they might, Morgan hung on for a third BTCC victory by 0.136s ahead of Tordoff and Goff, Jordan stealing fourth from Neal on the run to the line while Collard just evaded the same feat behind from Jeff Smith.
Aron Smith, Aiden Moffat and Ashley Sutton rounded out the top 10, the latter unable to exploit the softer tyres on his MG after stalling from fourth place on the grid.
After winning race two of the day, reigning champion Gordon Shedden ended the day in the Paddock Hill Bend tyre barriers, after an apparent failure on the front-left corner of his Civic Type-R.
Colin Turkington earned the best finish for Team BMR‘s Subaru Levorg with 12th, Matt Simpson meanwhile taking his first BTCC point for Speedworks Motorsport.