Whalley’s Adam Morgan enjoyed an encouraging start to the much-anticipated 2014 British Touring Car season at the historic Brands Hatch circuit last weekend.
Morgan and his family-run team Ciceley Motorsport sit in seventh place after the first round of the championship.
They arrived at Brands full of confidence following on from several positive pre-season test sessions.
Despite their optimism, however, they were also realistic about the fact that their brand new Mercedes A-Class was about to compete in its first ever races.
Their fears proved to be unnecessary and Morgan was competitive right from the start of the weekend.
He qualified 14th for the first race of the day with a lap time of 48.590 seconds, just 0.3 of a second off the pole position time.
As the lights went out for the first race of the year, Morgan was straight onto the attack, aiming to finish as high up the top 10 as possible.
He was helped on his way at the first corner by returning champion Alain Menu spinning off right in front of him.
As the race progressed, Morgan became embroiled in a heated three-way battle with Jack Goff and Dave Newsham.
The three traded places lap after lap, with Morgan eventually getting the better of Newsham, but he was unable to keep Goff behind him.
Morgan went on to finish 13th, scoring his first points of the season.
Already growing more confident in the car, Morgan got a superb start to the second race of the day, gaining six places in the first few corners and managing to weave his way through several first lap incidents without damage.
Several cars were left in the gravel traps after the first lap, forcing the safety car to be deployed while the marshals cleared the stricken cars.
After several laps under the safety car, the race was restarted and Morgan slowly began to drop back from the race leaders as he defended his position from Aron Smith in eighth place.
Despite Morgan’s best efforts to keep Smith behind him, he was able to force his way past on lap 17, leaving Morgan to finish in eight place.
However Smith was later disqualified, promoting Morgan back up to seventh place.
Gaining a place immediately at the start of the final race of the weekend, Morgan looked set for another top 10 result.
After again avoiding several first lap incidents, he was running as high as fifth place by the midpoint of the race.
Unfortunately, the wear on his tyres started to take its toll and he progressively began to slide back down the order, eventually taking the flag in 10th position.
At the end of the first round of the championship, Morgan sits in seventh place with a total of 18 points.
The action continues on April 20th at Donington Park.