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 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’s Honda Civic 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.