Following Bowker BMW’s partnership with Ciceley Motorsport’s British Touring Car Championship Team – Car Gods Racing, we want to keep you up-to-date with their progression throughout the season. Below you can find the race reports from each race weekend throughout the season. Race reports will be added the week following the race.
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport rounds out 2021
Another action-packed weekend for Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport resulted in Tom Chilton’s best weekend of the season for the team and more gritty performances from Adam Morgan in their BMW 330i M Sports.
Tom took a season-best of 10th in qualifying while Adam was only 16th and at a loss to immediately explain where the time went missing. A damper change improved his BMW for raceday and he was set to make progress in the opening race. Tom, meanwhile, made a good start and fought his way into the mix pulling a beautiful switchback move as he worked his way to ninth place, his best finish of the season. Adam gained places off the start but was then hung out to dry on the outside line at Druids on the opening lap, which meant that he lost the ground that he had just won.
Adam pulled himself on to the tail of a long line of cars but with the field so evenly matched, making progress was tough. By the last lap, Adam had hunted down Chris Smiley and in a typical never-say-die performance, Adam prised open the door exiting the final corner and the two cars ran side-by-side to the line. As the flag dropped, Adam was ahead by just 19-thousandths of a second. It was only for 14th place, but it put Adam one row higher up the order for race two.
The second race began with a bang when Tom’s Bowker BMW-backed car tried to dive up the inside of Ollie Jackson at the left-hander of Surtees. The gap disappeared as Tom committed to the move which resulted in contact that spun Ollie around and it was collected by Tom Oliphant’s BMW…which then knocked Jackson’s crippled car into the patch of Adam. Damaged suspension put The Morganator out of the race on the spot. With Adam a spectator, Tom battled on to take eighth, his car running 15 kilos of success ballast, the first time Tom had needed to lug the extra weight around this season. Eighth place for Tom was his best result of the season as all the hard work that the team and Tom had put in paid dividends.
For the final race of the season, Adam would line up 29th and last in his Mac Tools supported repaired car and Tom second, on the outside of the front row. As the lights went out, Tom made a good getaway to fend off Ash Sutton for the bulk of the first lap, but as Tom defended the inside at Westfield, his line took him wide out of the corner and Sutton bolted ahead. Tom also came under attack from Dan Rowbottom which made a bold move on the outside at Druids as lighter, front-wheel drive cars came into the equation and pushed Tom back to sixth, still an even better result to round out the season on a positive note. “I’ve never worked so hard,” smiled Tom after race three, “but it felt really good to be up near the front and part of the leading pack.
Adam, meanwhile, had to fight through the traffic and battled his way from 29th to 16th, narrowly missing out on the final point after a typical gutsy performance. “It was nice to finish the race and not be a spectator,” joked Adam.
“We have had a bad last four events really with factors outside of our control, but on the whole we have had a really good first season with the BMW. We have learnt a lot about the car and Tom and I have also had to learn to drive it and adjust our racecraft and our driving accordingly. Little things like how a car reacts to a slide or the way of trying to race with someone are different in rear-wheel drive cars and we both have more front-wheel drive experience. We have had two wins which is really good and we have developed the car well to carry weight, so it has been rewarding in the wins that we have had and in terms of what we have learnt.”
Adam ended the season 13th in the championship with Tom 19th, Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport ninth in the Teams’ Championship.
Said Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess: “It’s been another weekend of highs and lows but it has been fantastic to see all of Tom’s hard work reap rewards with race results that became better and better in each race. He’s worked really hard to get on top of rear-wheel drive this season so it has been a real boost for all of us to see a top six to round out the season. Adam was just in the wrong place at the wrong time in race two and the damage affected two races for him.
“We can look back at a really good season though. We have had a new sponsor on the cars with Car Gods joining us this season and as the world has opened up we have been able to welcome them and their guests to race weekends and enjoy first-hand the drama in the BTCC. It has been a new car and a new transmission for us to learn about and two wins are fantastic in our maiden year with the BMW. Everyone at Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport can be very proud of 2021 and with hybrid technology coming in for 2022, we want to be up at the front fighting for wins and titles.”
The 2022 British Touring Car Championship kicks off at Donington Park on April 23/24.
Donington drama for Ciceley with Car Gods
A tough day for the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport squad at Donington Park highlighted the highs and lows of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship yesterday.
Adam Morgan started the weekend on a high in his BMW 330i M Sport but a hefty accident in the opening race not only put him out of the opening contest but also gave the team a mammoth task in repairing the car. Tom Chilton, as ever, gave his all in the second car and bagged three top 20 finishes in the ultra-competitive championship.
Adam’s pace in free practice was a boost heading into qualifying, but Adam never quite got an ideal lap. Each time he was on a quick run, there would be traffic in the way that cost a fraction of time and with drivers split by thousandths of a second around the 1.9-mile circuit, every fraction of time gained was essential.
That left Adam 11th on the grid and Tom, who also had a tough session, 19th, but both were confident of making progress in race one. Adam was doing just that as he stormed through the opening lap, but on lap three came the turning point of Adam’s weekend: as Ollie Jackson’s Ford ran wide at the Old Hairpin, Adam went for a move alongside but as Jackson rejoined the road, he crowded The Morganator into Jake Hill’s Ford Focus and the resulting contact speared Adam into the tyre wall. A huge amount of damage was done to the rear of the car and it was a mightily frustrated Adam who stepped from his crumpled car.
“When I looked at the replay, I saw Jackson inadvertently pushed me over to Jake and I just got pinched. It was a racing incident but it did a lot of damage to the car.”
Both rear corners needed replacing and both chassis legs were badly damaged as well. Car builder Willie Poole joined the Ciceley Motorsport mechanics who toiled away to get the car ready for race two, but time was against them.
“It would have been a massive push to get the car ready for race two and it would have been in a bent car which would have been a risk. With 30 minutes to go, we decided to sit out the race as there was still a lot of work to do.”
But the amazing work of the Accrington-based team had the car on the grid for race three, which Adam and his experienced race engineer Steve Farrell elected to treat as a test session in readiness for Brands Hatch in two week’s time.
“I wasn’t trying to race anyone, it was a case of looking for clear track space and do some laps. Drive through the pits, let people get away, press on and see what the car was doing. That was the plan. It felt OK, we were on an old set of tyres but data was good. We have also looked at different set-ups and what we have learnt so far seems to be step in the right direction.”
That left Tom Chilton to uphold the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team’s honour. After a safety car triggered by Adam’s off in the opener, Tom bagged 19th and secured 20th in race two. After a frantic third race, and a pre-race discussion with ITV live from the car, Tom crossed the line in 18th place.
Tom said: “It was a tough day again. I just haven’t got the best out of this car and I don’t want to be filling up the field to make the others look good. I drove as hard as could and was racing in some good battles but I want to be higher up the order. I love racing, and it was busy where I was, but I want to be higher up. In race three I got a tap and then in a sandwich so it’s all going on back there but I want more podiums.”
Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess said: “More than anything today has underlined what a great team we have and how everyone thinks of the big picture. As soon as Adam had his accident, our day changed but everyone worked together for the good of the team. The mechanics made the car race worthy again, Adam and Steve Farrell changed their strategy for the day to garner data for Brands Hatch and on Tom’s side of the garage, he drove his heart out to try to move higher up the order. All our Car Gods guests enjoyed a day of amazing racing and experienced the highs and lows of the championship, but the best news was that Adam was OK after the crash and to have the car back on track was an astonishing effort from the team. On days like this you forget that you have had two wins this season and that is still an excellent record in our first year with this car.
“We go to Brands Hatch looking to round out the season on a high and to see our Car Gods deliver once again.”
The final races in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship are at Brands Hatch on October 23/24, with qualifying live on itv.com/btcc on Saturday and the raceday action live on ITV4 on Sunday October 24th.
Race Gods battle through challenging weekend.
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport drivers Adam Morgan and Tom Chilton batted through a tough weekend at Silverstone in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship with the pair’s pace going unrewarded.
Tom lined up 11th for the opening race despite a massive spin at Copse Corner, which peeled the rear left tyre off the wheel rim. Debris on the track caused a stoppage but Tom was able to rejoin and narrowly missed the cut to make it into the top 10 for the second part of the session. Adam, meanwhile, had an engine change in advance of qualifying but the team struggled for time to then put an optimum set-up on the car, meaning Adam was left to battle to 21st on the grid, just half a second away from pole position illustrating how tight the grid was on the 1.6-mile circuit.
In the opening race, Tom found himself in a four-way battle but was elbowed out wide which allowed a swarm of cars to blast past and condemned him to 20th place while poor Adam was a victim of a collision at the first corner with an errant Andy Neate, which punctured two tyres on his Bowker BMW-backed 330i M Sport and did plenty of damage to the side of the car. Adam was forced to retire due to the damage.
Both BMWs lined up for race two with Tom and Adam determined to make progress. Tom stormed his way up to 13th place, narrowly missing out on the top 12 for the reverse grid draw but putting himself in the points while Adam climbed from 26th to 17th, illustrating the pace of the BMW but also aware that overtaking was difficult, a factor raised by many different drivers during the day.
“Without an option tyre to shake things up, it seemed hard to overtake,” opined Adam. “The cars are really evenly matched these days and the team are operating at a high level so qualifying is all-important for the weekend. Getting through the pack was really hard.”
For race three, the cars lined up 13th and 17th but again Tom and Adam found it hard to work through the traffic. Tom’s race was stymied when involved in a fight early in the race when he and Sam Osborne brushed coming out of the high-speed Copse Corner and Tom had a second wild spin of the weekend, recovering to finish 28th, while Adam pushed hard to bag 16th place at flagfall.
“I thought I had a big enough gap over Osborne,” said Tom, “and that was annoying because I think I could have cleared the next three or four cars easily on the run up to Becketts. I was flying so I am happy with my pace in the car but it seems to take me to the end of the weekend to get there because I am a beginner in rear-wheel cars, really. I need to be faster sooner in the weekend.”
“I am still needing to learn a bit about racecraft in rear-wheel drive cars,” said an honest Adam at the end of the day. “In front-wheel drive cars I would know exactly what to do and where to be, but perhaps there were some wasted laps here whereas I could have made a move sooner in front-wheel drive, so that is down to me. The pace was OK and I think that if we had started in the top 10 we would have stayed there all day.”
Adam, as the higher-scoring driver, now lies 11th in the championship with Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport eighth in the Teams’ Championship, while Adam is fifth in the Independent drivers’ standings.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship moves to Donington Park on October 9/10 with qualifying on itv.com/btcc on Saturday with all the raceday action on ITV4 on Sunday October 10th.
Chilton and Morgan score well at Croft.
Pace and points in Yorkshire for Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport.
The two Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330i M Sports of Adam Morgan and Tom Chilton showed impressive pace at Croft, North Yorkshire, this weekend as the Bowker BMW-backed cars batted to points finishes in all three Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship races.
Adam Morgan bagged two top 10 finishes with team-mate Tom Chilton doing the same in race three and illustrating his pace with the fastest lap of race two.
Adam qualified an impressive fifth (carrying 33kg of success ballast) recovering after a minor gearbox issue early in the session to put his Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW on the inside of row three with Tom qualifying 15th in a difficult session that was twice interrupted. That meant that finding an opportunity to complete a run between stoppages was very difficult.
From the start of race one Adam was in the middle of a multi-car battle but he was on the medium compound tyre, the harder of the two choices at Croft and those drivers on the option soft rubber, to be used once over the day, were proving faster. That meant Adam dropped behind Josh Cook before Chris Smiley went for a narrow gap at the Hairpin and wriggled past with four laps to go. Adam netted eighth place, a little frustrated.
“I thought that I would have held my place or gone forward,” he said, “but the cars on the soft tyre proved to be quick for a few laps and as they came though it affected the flow of the battle. There was a long line of us all fighting and if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could lose places so points and losing some of the success weight for race two isn’t all bad.”
Race two proved to be more of the same as Adam, now with 21 kilos of weight and the softer tyre, found himself in another massive queue of cars, all jousting for position and trying not to lose ground. “All it took was to try one move and you could leave the door open for someone else,” explained The Morganator. “It was a really brutal race with a lot of rubbing as everyone was desperate to make a move stick, but at the same time trying to overtake was a big risk. Nothing really fell my way and no gaps opened up ahead of me and instead I lost a place which is frustrating. The consolation is that I took ninth, scored points and lost more weight but I was hoping for more.”
Adam’s weekend contained more frustration in race three when he was involved in a big battle for seventh place with Jake Hill. Having already gained places from ninth on the grid, Adam, with just 15 kilos of weight on the car, was crawling all over Hill as they approached the Complex and as Hill’s car slid slightly, it caught Adam’s BMW and sent it into a spin. Worse was that, Adam had to wait for the engine to fire up again and then find a gap in the traffic before he could rejoin. The dramas dropped him to 21st before he charged back into 17th place at the chequered flag.
“I’m really frustrated, to say the least. I was quicker and lighter than Hill but he was being really defensive and he was on the limit. That made his car nervous and it touched mine but that was all it took to send me into a spin. At least I could fight back and gain a few places before the flag but that race could, should, have been so much better.”
Team-mate Tom Chilton had a consistent day, netting 11th in the opening race as he battled up from 15th on the grid, but was unlucky in the second race as he was involved in first lap dramas that whacked his Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW into a spin. “Who didn’t hit me…?” asked Tom, ruefully.
A mighty fightback from 27th to 17th was an inspired drive, Tom unlucky to miss out on a place in the top 15 for championship points but he did secure the bonus point for the fastest lap of the race, proof of how Tom is becoming increasingly confident in the rear-wheel drive machine. From 17th on the grid for race three, Tom blasted his way to 10th place after another attacking drive that illustrated his pace and confidence in the car.
Said Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess: “Today was mixed for Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport. I have never in 8 years seen Adam so frustrated after a race weekend. We showed really good pace because both cars were really good at running up near the front and overtaking, plus Tom took the fastest lap of the second race. So we know our cars perfectly set up and fast, as well as reliable, so that is really positive in our first year with the BMW. The cards just didn’t fall our way, though, and results didn’t reflect what we are capable of but with Silverstone in just a week’s time, at least we aren’t staring two badly damaged cars, the teams spanners are going to be getting some hammer getting the cars ready to leave on Wednesday! We will be back fighting at the front again next week, and Tom’s pace was fantastic, he can’t wait for the next round”
Adam lies ninth in the championship with Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport eighth in the BTCC Teams Championship. Adam is fourth in the Independents Trophy with the team fifth in the Independent Teams Championship.
After a quick turnaround, the Kwik Fit British Touring Car heads to Silverstone, Northamptonshire, next weekend on September 25/26 with qualifying shown on itv.com/btcc on Saturday and all the raceday action on Sunday September 26 on ITV4.
Car God Morgan powers to second victory of the 2021 BTCC race season.
Adam Morgan blasted his Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330i M Sport to a second win of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season at Thruxton, Hampshire, yesterday, to vault up to sixth in the championship.
Adam, who had been in the mix all day, started the final race of the day on pole position, benefitting from the reverse grid system that drew him for the first place on the grid. Adam made a peach of a start and bolted into the lead from the factory-supported BMW of Colin Turkington, but their battle was interrupted by an early safety car period after Gordon Shedden and Jade Edwards tangled at the first corner.
Adam left his restart late but still managed to get the drop on Colin once more, the Bowker BMW-backed machine edging away to up the margin to around half a second before a second safety car period was needed after an accident at the Complex. As soon as the road was cleared the action resumed and Adam again bolted away to protect his lead as Turkington, who was carrying 39 kilos of success ballast to Adam’s 21, tried to stay with him. Turkington needed to be careful of the pack behind with the lighter car of Senna Proctor bearing down on him. Just as The Morganator looked to be safe, a third safety car period was called for after Ollie Jackson’s car became stranded trackside and Adam had to control another restart. He did so perfectly, but his front right tyre was starting to suffer and Adam made a tiny error heading into the chicane, which forced him to use the escape road rather than try to make the corner. That enabled him to pull away from Turkington, but Adam eased his pace a little so as not to have been adjudged to have gained an unfair advantage and that allowed Turkington to get closer again late race.
Adam held on, however, to a 10th career win and the second of the season for Car Gods and Ciceley Motorsport operating its new car.
Speaking to ITV post-race, Adam said: “It’s always hard in a reverse grid race because they seem to throw everything at you like three safety car periods! My Mac Tools supported car felt great in that race and all the tweaks that we have made over the weekend all came good and it has been getting better and better.
“There was immense pressure in that race from Colin but I’ve done a lot of training in the iZone sim and all that experience paid off but I did make a little mistake at the chicane and locked up. I knew I wasn’t going to make the corner so it was safer to miss the corner rather than risk going off. I had Colin in my mirrors, he was applying pressure and I missed the braking point by a metre. My front right tyre was really worn but could I have held Colin off if he’d caught me? Yes.
“My engineer Steve Farrell was on the radio suggesting I should back it off and my tyre was well worn anyway, but a win is a win. It’s a mega result for the whole Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team.”
Adam had started the day sixth on the grid for the opening race and netted a seventh place at the finish of a frantic race, while he took eighth in race two after being involved in plenty of battles along the way. In race one, Adam felt the car wasn’t perfect and, “felt like a passenger rather than driving the car,” but with success ballast in race two the car felt much better.
“WSR has been a great help but it is really satisfying for an independent team like ours to beat the works cars.”
The second Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW of Tom Chilton netted 14th in the opening race, Tom’s 400th BTCC start but struggled in races two and three to finish 17th.
Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess said: “That was a fantastic day for Adam and for the whole team. Thruxton is an important circuit for Car Gods with lots of trackside sponsorship and all of our guests were delighted with a great day of racing as well as Adam’s win. He drove brilliantly to fend off the renowned BMW master Colin Turkington, so that is a major boost for him as a driver and us as a team as well as vindicating our decision to go with the BMWs this year. He’s up to sixth in the championship and our cars just keep on improving the more we learn, so we can’t wait to go to Croft now and aim for more wins.”
Adam is now up to sixth in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship and fourth in the Independent Drivers title race, with Tom 21st overall. Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport lies eighth in the Teams’ Championship and fifth in the Independent Teams’ contest.
The next races are at Croft, North Yorkshire, on September 18/19 with qualifying on itv.com/btcc on Saturday 18th with all the raceday action on ITV4 on Sunday September 19th.
Tough day in Scotland for Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport
Leading Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Team, Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport are reflecting on a tough weekend at Knockhill, Fife, after drivers Adam Morgan and Tom Chilton raced hard all weekend.
On the 1.2-mile Scottish circuit, the two Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport drivers were up for the battle going into qualifying but with commitment absolute and track space crucial, Adam had an off at the fast chicane, his Bowker BMW-backed 330i M Sport sliding sideways into the gravel and ending its session early. “I was a bit greedy with the kerb,” explained Adam. “That threw me off the road.” Thirteenth on the grid was Adam’s reward, which could have been much worse but would make life tough going into the opening 24-lap race of the weekend. Tom also struggled for clear track space and would line up 16th for the opening race of the weekend.
In front of a big and enthusiastic Scottish crowd on a chilly raceday, the two Race Gods were ready for the fight. Adam was in determined mood from the start, taking his BMW to fight the traffic ahead but in a frantic opening lap, found himself losing places rather than gaining. “I was having a battle with Dan Lloyd and went up the inside at Clark’s which put me in a slide and I lost a few places and then the same happened at the hairpin so I dropped to 17th.”
That meant Adam spent the race fighting back into contention, carrying 39 kilos of success ballast for running fifth in the championship. Pulling some brave moves under braking, Adam worked his way back into the points. “After the first lap, I had to fight back but spent the race working back up to 13th, rather than making progress from my grid position. That was frustrating, but we were happy with the pace of the car so there was definitely a big positive to take from the race.”
Adam would start 13th on the grid once more for race two, with a tweak to the balance of the car. Determined to make progress, Adam used a big chunk of kerb at the Chicane to get the run on the traffic, but the car became unsettled and had a spin on the opening lap of the race. “That dropped me to 27th,” recalled Adam, “but I then worked my way back up to 16th so the pace of the car was really good. Again, that was really pleasing but I was cross with myself that I was using it to recover and not to go forward. We had also taken the weight out of the car which made it feel different but overall the car felt good.”
Race three would employ the semi-reverse grid but Adam missed out on it and thus had to start 16th. More balance changes were made but Adam had to run the regulation harder tyre that each driver had to use in one of the three races. That was regarded as the slower tyre so Adam found it harder to battle up the order, netting a second 13th place of the day.
“It’s been a frustrating weekend. It could have been three top 10 finishes, but the key to it was qualifying. If I hadn’t had my off I could have used a second set of tyres, qualified higher and been out of the dramas, so it is certainly a reminder just how important qualifying is.”
The second Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330i M Sport of Tom Chilton also had a frustrating weekend, Tom suffering with the traffic in qualifying and lining up 16th after the twice-interrupted session. In the opening race, Tom battled up to 13th place. “I felt quite fast this weekend, I felt quite racy especially on the softer tyre. I was on a real charge in race one and I got up from 16th to 12th which was good.”
In race two, Tom underlined his pace by rocketing his Haydock Finance support BMW up to the top six and then started to battle with Aiden Moffat, but as Tom pressed on, a tiny drama at the Chicane upset his progress.
“I made a mistake at the Chicane chasing Aiden and I had to do a Scandinavian flick to try to control it, but instead, that was followed by a 360-degree spin! I was disappointed with myself because I had been flying before that, but it proves that I am not just needing to learn about the car itself but also how to race it. After so many years in front-wheel drive machinery, I would have responded differently to the slide but a rear-wheel drive car behaves differently – and not as I wanted!”
The spin dropped Tom down the order and he ended the race 25th and on the harder tyre also struggled to make progress in race three against the bulk of the grid on softer rubber. The team elected to retain the race two set-up but that proved to be the wrong decision with the harder tyre behaving differently, but the Accrington-based squad felt that the data was very useful. Tom ended the race 23rd.
“I am 75% of the way there to being on top of a rear-wheel drive car so I am definitely getting there! I am getting faster and more confident all the time, so I am looking forward to Thruxton and another step forward.”
Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess said: “That was one of the weekends that reminds you how tough this championship can be. We had great pace, two really committed drivers and they drove as hard as they could, but the cards just didn’t fall right. You get weekends like that, but we take the positives of good pace and no damage meaning we will come out fighting at Thruxton. Our cars looked amazing dancing over the kerbs, although the team were a little frustrated, We had lots of Car Gods guests on site, which was fantastic. To be able to welcome back our partners and involve them in the BTCC is just what we have been waiting for and they all had a great day watching cracking racing. The Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport will be back at Thruxton where we raced in May, so we have data already and we are determined to bag more wins and podium finishes.”
The weekend’s results drop Adam to 10th in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, but he is looking forward to fighting back next time out. The next races in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship are at Thruxton, Hampshire, on August 28/29 with qualifying on itv.com/btcc on Saturday August 28th and the full raceday action broadcast on ITV4 on Sunday August 29th.
Morgan and Chilton enjoy solid Oulton Park BTCC weekend.
A fantastic weekend of consistent pace netted a tremendous haul of point for Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park.
On home soil and in front of a massive and enthusiastic crowd, Adam Morgan and Tom Chilton worked wonders in their BMW 330i M Sports to take a brace of podium finishes and two further top 10 results.
Qualifying netted sixth for Adam while Tom struggled in traffic on the narrow Cheshire circuit and wound up 22nd but up for the fight come raceday. Race one was a tense affair, interrupted by a multiple accident that caused the race to be stopped and re-started. When the race resumed, Adam was eager to repeat his Oulton Park win of 2020 and chased Gordon Shedden as he tried to wriggle by for second place. Triple champion Shedden was able to preserve the place and deny. The Morganator second, but Adam was happy with his podium finish, running on the harder medium tyre which was regarded to be slightly slower than the softer tyre used by the two winning cars.
“Oulton tends to be a bogey circuit for us, apart from last year’s win, so I am really chuffed to be on the podium in our first race here in the BMW. Gordon just had the edge on the soft tyres but a podium was a really good start to the day, especially as we were ahead of the works cars. Our Bowker BMW guests are over the moon!”
Adam started race three from third on the grid, now with 57 kilos of success ballast and running the softer tyre. As race leader Dan Rowbottom tried to defend his team-mate Gordon Shedden, Rory Butcher took the lead and Adam nipped ahead of Shedden for third place. As Butcher edged away, Rowbottom kept Accrington-based Adam at bay, with the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW having to fend off the quick Jake Hill which was lighter from race one.
“That was tough,” reckoned Adam. “I was busy trying to get past Dan and needing to make sure Jake didn’t get by so it was a busy race but a second podium of the day is really satisfying and the points are very welcome as well.”
For race three, with the semi-reverse grid, Adam started seventh again with 57 kilos of success ballast and with the slower medium tyre again. It as always going to be a tough race and it was one that was punctuated by a number of accidents on the crowded track. Adam finished fifth after losing out to a forceful Aiden Moffat on the opening tour, the Scotsman being uncompromising in his efforts to get by in his Infiniti. “Aiden was a bit keen and the rub just affected the car a bit but the weight and the tyres were the main factors for pace in that race. To be honest though, after years of bad luck here, two thirds and a fifth and no real dramas is bliss! We can go home with the knowledge of a job well done and not having to rebuild or repair anything so we are really happy.”
After his troubled qualifying, Tom Chilton’s second Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW just missed out on points in race one to finish 17th, but Tom bagged 13th in race two and kept clear of strife in race three to take ninth place for his best result of the season.
Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess said: “We have had a fantastic day with some great results in front of a proper crowd for the first time since 2019. Our Car Gods Engineering team and both drivers have adapted to the cars and rear wheel as opposed to front wheel drive at a quite unbelievable rate. Tom’s pace and top ten finish in race 3 has us hoping that he has found that tiny little piece of his jigsaw that was missing, he’s a class act and once he gets fully to grips with the car, we will all be a real force to reckon with. All our guests have loved being back at a BTCC event and they have been treated to plenty of drama as well! Adam drove really well all day and two podium finishes are a great reward for all the effort that the team is putting in and we just keep getting stronger. With the results we are achieving as an independent team, outscoring the works cars again, we are really buzzing.”
The results move Adam to fifth in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship and Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport to eighth in the Teams’ Championship.
The next races are at Knockhill, Fife, on August 14/15. Qualifying will be shown live on itv.com with all the raceday action live on ITV4 on Sunday August 15th.
Photo Credit: B2pjk Media
Car God Morgan motors to maiden BMW win.
Adam Morgan made history at Brands Hatch in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship yesterday by becoming the first independent driver to win a round of the championship in a BMW 330i M Sport. He thus gave the Ciceley Motorsport team their first win operating the BMW.
Starting from pole position in the reverse grid race, Adam blasted away from the line in his Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW to head the pack throughout the 24-lap race chased by former team-mate Aiden Moffat, who became embroiled in a battle with Jack Goff. That allowed The Morganator to break away and build his lead, even coping with late-race drizzle to take a ninth career win. Running new brake discs and pads for the race, Adam had to adapt to the feel of his car on the opening laps, but after some guidance from Chief Engineer Steve Farrell, Adam majestically extended his advantage to take his first win in his Bowker BMW-backed 330i M Sport.
“I’m very happy. I started the first race 21st on the grid so straight away we had to think about our weekend and aim to get in the mix for the reverse grid race. I adjusted the balance in the early stages but I kept locking up and had to get on top of that. It is a brilliant way to end the weekend. It is only our third event with this car so it is fantastic to repay our sponsors and everyone in the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team with a win.”
Adam had missed out on a perfect lap in qualifying with the frantic nature of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit making him a martyr to traffic. As a result of not finding a clear lap, and losing one lap time for exceeding track limits, 21st was his reward. With his elbows out, Adam had two physical races, the first race netting 17th and the second 12th. That translated to pole position on the semi-reversed grid for race three and the maiden victory.
The second Car Gods, Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330i M Sport of Tom Chilton also struggled to find a clear lap in qualifying resulting in Tom starting 24th for the opening race. With everyone so evenly matched, progress wasn’t easy but he fought up to 19th place. Adjustments were made to the set-up of the car for race two which allowed Tom to charge further up the field to 13th place behind Adam, but just missing out on the cut for the reverse grid.
“The car was mega in race two,” opined Tom. “We worked on the set-up and it was so good that for race three we decided to go one more click. That, though, was one click too far so we ended up with a slower car for race three, but the positive aspect is that I know the limit of that set-up adjustment now. It is all about learning about a car that is new to me and the team, so I can’t wait for Oulton Park.”
Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess said: “Wow! What a result that is, so early in our association with BMW. Adam did a great job in race three, with the weather trying to trip us up and having the entire field breathing down his neck, but he didn’t crack, drove smoothly to build the gap and looked dominant up front. To prove that an independent team like Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport can win in these cars and they are not just the domain of a works team is really good for the championship. WSR deserve thanks for the build, but it was quite a moment to beat the masters of these cars! Thanks, should also go to Tom Chilton, Tom has been very unlucky with incidents and traffic so far this year, but his day will come. Tom is instrumental in the development of the cars along with Nick Sylvester his Engineer and of course Adam and Chief Engineer Steve Farrell. The whole team, sponsors, mechanics, chef’s, bottle washers and family deserve this win. We are blown away with the win so early in the year and, as always, go to Oulton Park in a really positive mood now and can’t wait to welcome more of our fans and guests back trackside to cheer on the Car Gods!”
The weekend’s results move Adam up to 11th in the championship and the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport squad now eighth in the Teams’ standings.
The next races in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will be at Oulton Park, Cheshire, on July 31st/August 1st. Qualifying will be shown live on itv.com/btcc on Saturday with all the raceday action live on ITV4 on August 1st.
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport bags three top-eight finishes in Snetterton scorcher.
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport is celebrating another positive weekend in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship in which Adam Morgan and Tom Chilton again proved the pace of their BMW 330i M Sports, with Adam taking three top eight finishes at Snetterton in Norfolk.
In hot conditions on Saturday, Adam and Tom’s main focus was the two-part qualifying session, with the top 10 progressing to the final shoot-out. In the first 25-minute part, Adam qualified 10th while Tom finished 13th. With one car subsequently excluded, Tom moved up to 12th on the race one grid, whilst Adam took his Bowker BMW-supported car into Q2 where he battled to sixth and was then promoted to fifth after the disqualification of Gordon Shedden for a rear wing infringement.
“I’m pleased with that,” said Adam. “The car has really good pace and should be suited to Snetterton, so I’m optimistic for raceday.”
In sweltering conditions, Adam made a good start from fifth on the grid for the opening race and was soon in a battle with Ollie Jackson, Dan Lloyd and Stephen Jelley (BMW 330i M Sport). On the softer, grippier, option tyre, Adam was fighting hard and had moved up to fifth when he snagged a brake into the Esses and locked up a wheel. That affected his front left tyre which started to deteriorate over the remaining distance around the three-mile lap.
“That really hurt us,” explained Adam. “I was on the radio soon afterwards saying ‘This tyre isn’t going to last’ so I had to back off to look after it. I dropped to seventh but even when I was braking earlier to look after the tyre, I still overtook Dan Lloyd for sixth pace so I’m really pleased. I’m not sure it would have lasted another lap, though.”
Adam’s hard-earned sixth place was in contrast to Tom’s opening race when he was helped into a spin on the final lap, which dropped his Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW to 21st place.
It also meant that Tom had a lot of work to do in race two, starting 21st, but as he charged his BMW into the first hairpin on the opening lap, he became a victim of the traffic all stacking up ahead of him. “There is always a concertina effect,” explained Tom. “I was about one car length back from the car ahead at turn two but suddenly the field seemed to stop and I just couldn’t stop in time. It was unbelievable how quickly all the traffic backed up and then it happened again into turn four which broke my bonnet so I was then staring at bodywork!” With damage, Tom was forced to retire the car.
Adam, from sixth on the grid, had lots of understeer early in the race which then became oversteer as the race progressed. “It was difficult to get traction and pick up power,” he explained. “It was very difficult for everyone in the heat, and in terms of pace we weren’t far away, but it was just so hot! I locked up in a couple of corners and we made a few adjustments after race one, but they weren’t quite what we needed. I’m happy with eighth thought because it is more points and shows that we can run up near the front.”
Adam missed out on the reverse grid, seventh being the place that would translate to pole, so he started eighth and Tom 28th for the final race. Again, both rear-wheel drive cars made good starts, with Adam’s car having undergone some more set-up changes. “We made the rear of the car more settled,” he explained, “but we had a bit more understeer in the high-speed sections. It was quite a brutal race with lots of contact, but my goal was a top 10 and I finished eighth, so overall I’m pretty happy.”
Tom said: “I was a bit Cautious Charlie after not finishing race two, but we made some tweaks that made the car really fast and I got through from 28th to 19th. I reckon that could have been higher but I was held up in traffic early on and I really didn’t want to risk it too much for fear of not finishing. By the end of the race, the car was working really well and the whole grid was coming to me. I wish we could have race four now…!”
Ciceley Motorsport’s Commercial Director Norman Burgess said:
“Everyone’s talking about the weather but we are focussing on the pace of our Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMWs. The cars have shown really good speed this weekend and three top eight finishes for Adam shows that we are in the mix and our first win of 2021 isn’t far away.“
The results from Snetterton put Adam 11th and Tom 20th in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship standings with Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport ninth in the Teams Championship. The next races in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship are at Brands Hatch, Kent, on June 26th/27th. Qualifying will be shown on itv.com on Saturday June 26th with all the raceday action on Sunday June 27th live on ITV4.
Promising debut for Bowker BMW partner Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport as BTCC bursts in action.
Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Team Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport began a new chapter in its history at Thruxton, Hampshire, with excellent pace and a weekend full of data to kick-start its 2021 campaign.
Adam Morgan and new recruit Tom Chilton hit a damp track on Saturday morning for free practice, an essential session to fine-tune their brand-new BMW 330i M Sports for the all-important qualifying session later in the day.
In a session that began wet but dried out towards the end, the correct tyre choice at the right moment was crucial. Tom bounced back from a clutch drama earlier in the day to take 20th on the grid, while Adam was 14th and ready for raceday.
The opening race was dry and, for Adam, “A baptism of fire! A real step into the unknown.” With Thruxton being the fastest circuit in the UK, all the cars running Goodyear’s hard tyre and limited running having been achieved on a dry road, the Car Gods drivers had much to contend with. A lap one accident brought out the safety car, but on the restart, Adam battled his way up to eighth place. “I was happy to get into the top 10 but it wasn’t easy. I’m still learning about the car and about the best set-up, but that was a really encouraging start to the season.”
Tom bagged 14th after suffering when his fuel pump failed on the apex of the first corner. “That was a bit scary,” he confessed, as he limped back to the pit lane allowing the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team as much time as possible to gather their Mac Tools and work on the car.
After making changes to his car following the first race, Adam felt confident, but an early clash with Tom Ingram put him off the road at high-speed forcing him to make a pit stop, followed by another coming together with Gordon Shedden at the last corner and spun, coming home in 21st place.
Race three was another weather-affected lottery with rain falling as the cars came to the grid. Tom, 26th on the grid, elected to start on wets while Adam, 21st, began the race on slicks. The race ebbed and flowed for both drivers as the road dried and Adam charged up to 11th, but then the rain came again, and Tom charged up to 12th place. Just like qualifying, the correct tyre at the right time was crucial and as the rain fell again late-race, Tom hung on to 13th spot while Adam, now grip-less on slicks, used his rallying experience to take 18th position, despite a spin.
The next races in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship are at Snetterton, Norfolk, on June 12/13. Qualifying will be shown on itv.com on Saturday June 12th with all the race day action on Sunday June 13th live on ITV4.