CICELEY KICKS OFF BTCC PRE-SEASON TESTING
Ciceley Motorsport kicked off the BTCC testing season in rather unconventional circumstances at Donington Park last week, having recently acquired the ex-Carl Boardley BMW 1 Series.
The North West-based squad is switching to the ultra-successful BMW 3 Series for the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship and is keen to hit the ground running while waiting for its new cars to be delivered. Carrying many similar characteristics to its ‘big brother’, Ciceley are using the 1 Series to acclimatise ahead of the move to rear-wheel drive machinery.
Action got underway with regular pilot Adam Morgan completing 45 laps of the National Circuit in largely wet conditions during the morning session.
“I really enjoyed it,” said Morgan. “The track eventually dried, and I was able to go out on slicks. The track was green and there was a little bit of standing water, but I really enjoyed being out in RWD and immediately got used to the fundamental handling differences. I’m really looking to the next test at Snetterton.”
Following seat and control adjustments during the lunchtime break, Ciceley’s new signing – experienced race winner Tom Chilton – was next up to get a taste of the multiple title-winning BMW.
Chilton ran on Goodyear slick tyres all afternoon, despite freezing cold temperatures that also meant the track was unable to dry completely, as the Surrey man clocked up an encouraging 50 laps before the chequered flag fell.
As planned, engineer Steve Farrell made some adjustments to the car throughout the day and was able to gather significant data ahead of the team’s next outing at Snetterton this Thursday (28 January).
“Both drivers were very happy under the circumstances, both with the pace of the car and how they initially adapted to RWD,” confirmed Commercial Director Norman Burgess. “The entire team are very content with how the first test progressed. We are looking forward to getting the new BMW 3 Series and preparing it for pre-season testing, which will hopefully begin in early March.”