BTCC rookie Adam Morgan enjoyed his first taste of a Speedworks Motorsport-prepared Toyota Avensis Friday at Donington Park, the 23-year-old joining his team-mate Tony Hughes to gain some vital pre-season experience of the Leicestershire circuit.
There’s just six weeks to go before the start of the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and, with Morgan’s all-new Avensis still under construction, Adam’s maiden experience of the car was at the wheel of Tony’s Hughes Safety Showers-backed machine.
He was impressed by the experience: “It was a really good day. I spent most of it in a road car with my driver coach, Paul Taft, getting a feel for front-wheel drive and learning the best lines, which was really useful, and then at the end of the day I had an hour in the Speedworks Toyota.”
Added Adam: “I absolutely loved the Avensis. I covered about 30 laps, not against the clock but just to get a feel for the car, and every lap I gained confidence and some pace. I’m very pleased with how things went.”
Speedworks team director Christian Dick was similarly pleased: “Adam quickly got a handle on things. We put no pressure on him but he soon found his feet with the Toyota. It was a very productive day’s testing with Tony also, and we made some good progress with things changed since our shakedown run last week at Oulton Park. We have a solid testing schedule prepared for the period up to the start of the season and everything is going according to plan.”
That schedule includes two days of testing next week at Brands Hatch – the venue for the 1 April BTCC openers – where Hughes and double BTCC champion James Thompson will drive the Avensis on one day and Morgan the next. “I can’t wait for Brands Hatch,” said Ciceley Racing-backed Adam. “The opportunity to work with James Thompson is just fantastic.”
Morgan, from Ribchester in Lancashire, won his place on the BTCC grid thanks to his victory in the 2011 Ginetta Supercup: his reward from the British sportscar manufacturer is the largest prize on offer in British motorsport, worth in excess of £200,000. Adam won three Ginetta Supercup races on the way to snatching the championship in the final rounds at Silverstone last October.
This year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship starts and finishes at Brands Hatch, in Kent, and will also visit the Donington Park, Thruxton, Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton, Knockhill, Rockingham and Silverstone circuits on its round-Britain tour. All 30 races will be screened live on ITV4.