Morgan’s Mercedes holds off BMW challenge
Adam Morgan celebrated victory in race three of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch after holding off a near race-long threat from the West Surrey Racing duo of Sam Tordoff and Jack Goff.
Morgan’s win made it three different winners on the opening day of the BTCC season, but the WIX Racing driver was forced to work extremely hard throughout this contest. He started the race on the attack after getting a good getaway and slotting in behind pole-sitter Tordoff.
Running the soft Dunlop SportMaxx tyre, the Mercedes of Morgan was crawling all over the back of the fast-starting BMW after just one lap. Morgan immediately eyed his opportunity and darted past on the run down to Paddock Hill Bend.
The action behind the lead trio was also fast and furious, which included slight contact between the two Motorbase Performance Fords. Andrew Jordan recovered after a wild slide and while team-mate Mat Jackson continued for the next few laps, he was eventually forced into the pit lane with a puncture.
The safety car was called for after Kelvin Fletcher’s Chevrolet and Mark Howard’s VW visited the gravel in separate incidents, but the drama soon returned.
Both Hondas of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden squeezed by Aron Smith’s VW on lap seven, but reigning champion Shedden would face a disappointing finish. His ballast-laden Civic Type R was already fading down the order before a puncture sent him off and into retirement at Paddock Hill Bend.
Neal couldn’t hold on to fourth, as the recovering Jordan dragged his Ford Focus alongside as they crossed the finish line. Jordan got the nod by just 0.037s as WSR’s Collard looked on behind in sixth.
The Jordan/Neal battle wasn’t the closest scrap of the finishers, however, as Jeff Smith went side-by-side with Aron Smith and took seventh by an incredible 0.003s. Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat took ninth, whilst Ashley Sutton recovered to take tenth despite getting bogged down off the line and dropping way down the order.
The final laps for the rostrum positions can be described as tense with the BMWs of Tordoff and Goff hauling their machines onto the back of Morgan’s Mercedes. The WIX Racing man kept his powder dry, however, and saw off several attacks to take the win.
2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 3 – Brands Hatch Indy:
1 Adam MORGAN (GBR) WIX Racing (27 laps) 23m49.834s
2 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +0.136s
3 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team IHG Rewards Club +0.449s
4 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) Motorbase Performance +3.832s
5 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +3.869s
6 Robert COLLARD (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +4.192s
7 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +4.195s
8 Aron SMITH (IRL) BKR +5.702s
9 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +6.391s
10 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +10.892s
11 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +11.051s
12 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Subaru Team BMR +11.482s
13 Hunter ABBOTT (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +11.995s
14 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +14.512s
15 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +15.098s
16 Jason PLATO (GBR) Subaru Team BMR +15.513s
17 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +15.640s
18 James COLE (GBR) Subaru Team BMR +16.124
19 Warren SCOTT (GBR) Subaru Team BMR +16.744s
20 Daniel WELCH (GBR) Goodstone Racing +17.406s
21 Michael EPPS (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +21.854s
22 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD Tuning +22.302s
23 Jake HILL (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +23.947s
24 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Eurotech Racing +24.912s
25 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +27.308s
26 Andy NEATE (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +32.593s
27 Alex MARTIN (GBR) Dextra Racing +40.900s
28 Stewart LINES (GBR) Maximum Motorsport +45.226s
29 Chris SMILEY (GBR) TLC Racing +4 laps
30 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +7 laps
31 Kelvin FLETCHER (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +26 laps
32 Mark HOWARD (GBR) BKR DNS
Click here for the full classification.