With a perfect run of scores so far in the BTCC, Adam Morgan leads the four Toyota BTCC independents to Thruxton this weekend (4/5 May) hoping that his luck will hold through the third meeting of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.
Morgan and his Ciceley Racing-run Avensis scored a hat-trick of top-five finishes last time out, but discovered after the third Donington race that turbo damage could easily have halted their run. “Some debris had got through and damaged the turbo blades,” said Adam. “If one of those blades had come off it would have badly damaged the engine, so we were lucky it held together.”
Twenty-four-year-old Lancastrian Morgan holds sixth place in the overall drivers championship thanks to his run of luck, and is second in the Independents Trophy, seven points behind leader Andrew Jordan. Adam is one of only six drivers to have scored in all six BTCC races.
He’s hoping for more of the same in Hampshire: “I will be more than happy if I can replicate the results I had at Brands Hatch and Donington. I think we should be there or thereabouts; I really like Thruxton. I just hope it’s dry…”
It was anything but dry last year at Thruxton, but the torrential rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of Dynojet Racing’s Frank Wrathall, whose Avensis recorded a fifth, a fourth and then a brilliant third, holding off Jason Plato, in the finale.
After a disappointing Donington, where Preston-based Frank endured a trying weekend of car problems, including a turbo boost issue which blunted his pace, he is hoping for better: “I think we’ve got to the bottom of our engine problems; we will be giving it a run on the dyno before the meeting, and hopefully it will back to full health. We had good pace at Thruxton last year and the Toyota has felt absolutely mega so far this season. We just need everything to come together, a bit of luck on our side, and I am sure the results will flow.
“I’m not sure what to expect from Thruxton, to be honest. It will be a bit of an unknown for most people because the only time it was dry there last year was right at the end of qualifying. I think there’s a lot to learn about the tyres; it will be interesting, but at least most people are in the same boat.”
Also looking for better luck this weekend are the two Toyota drivers from Speedworks Motorsport, Dave Newsham and Ollie Jackson, both of whom pulled out of the Donington finale after incidents.
Newsham had been running in the top five when rear suspension problems caused his Avensis to swerve to a halt on the quickest part of the track. Speedworks team boss Christian Dick said: “It was definitely impact damage, not a simple failure. Just when that damage happened isn’t clear – it may have been several corners before the suspension failed. However, that is all repaired and we are going through all the data from Donington, as a result of which we will make some changes for Thruxton and hope to build our pace.”
Inverness-based Newsham has scored in three of the six races and holds championship 12th, one place behind Wrathall. Norfolk’s Jackson is 19th overall.
Sunday’s Thruxton races will all be shown live on ITV4 and itv.com; the first of the three is due off at noon.