Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport signs off with top-six hat-trick
With a trio of top-six finishes during the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship finale, Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport rounded off its 2022 campaign impressively at Brands Hatch.
Drivers Adam Morgan and George Gamble hustled their Car Gods-backed BMW 330e M Sports to run in the leading pack in all three races as the championship came to its close, with Morgan having qualified eighth for the opening race and Gamble securing 13th on the grid.
With a four-way championship fight taking up attention, Morgan ran with the leading group in race one, battling his way up to fourth place before championship hopefuls Jake Hill and Colin Turkington found a way past. Morgan’s sixth place gave him the Independents’ category win, while his team-mate made storming progress throughout the 18-lap contest, with eighth being his reward after a mighty drive.
Morgan made a good start to race two to run sixth early on, but by half-distance he was up to fifth at the expense of Turkington. However, once again, the championship hopeful battled back ahead and, as Morgan ran wide, reigning champion Ash Sutton nipped by as well. That dropped the #33 driver to the back of the top six, where he battled with his stablemate late in the race, the pair trading the place in a fierce fight at Graham Hill Bend, all shown live on ITV4.
By the end of the encounter, it was Morgan who eventually crossed the line sixth ahead of Gamble to win the Independents’ class again, while a five-second penalty for being out of position on the start grid saw the Nottinghamshire racer fall to 11th in the final results.
Morgan and Gamble would start the final encounter of the campaign from fifth and 11th on the grid respectively, with both drivers making up places from the off.
Quickly moving into third place, Morgan was then promoted to second after Bobby Thompson was forced to retire. Following a safety car period, however, the opposition was on the attack. The 33-year-old lost out in a battle with the Honda of Josh Cook before dropping back to sixth place. Contact at Druids then further pushed Morgan down the order, before an engine gremlin put him out of the race.
Gamble meanwhile had broken into the top ten by his second tour of the 2.43-mile Grand Prix circuit, continuing to pick off rivals ahead throughout the contest. The 26-year-old was into seventh which he held for six laps, before making up one final place before the chequered flag fell to clinch another top-six finish for the team and draw the curtain on an impressive rookie season.
“I was really disappointed for the season to finish as it did,” admitted Morgan. “I made good progress up to second and then Josh made a switchback on me which let Ash get through, then he defended so strongly it brought everyone else back onto my tail and I got tagged. The engine cut out three laps from home and I restarted it but then it cut out again and wouldn’t restart. The car was good and I need to match that in every race as well.”
“My pace was really good,” added Gamble. “I made loads of ground in race one and then came through again in race three to get sixth, so I was really pleased with the speed in the car. It was a really strong car all day, the pace was mega and it didn’t drop away in the races. It’s been a year of highs and lows and I’d love to be back on the grid next year. People forget I’ve had three seasons out of racing, and so the time in the car is essential. It’s been a great end to the season.”
“It has been a weekend that reflected our season,” concluded Commercial Director Ash Gallagher. “Excellent pace, some bad luck, massive commitment from our drivers, and satisfaction in the pace of our cars. The whole Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team has worked tirelessly this year, we have had two wins, we have adapted to the hybrid technology, and been competitive at pretty much every circuit we have visited.”
Morgan’s season, including one win and one third place, netted ninth in the Drivers’ Championship and second in the Independents’ Championship, in which he took eight wins. Gamble, who won at Knockhill and also had a further third place, ended his maiden BTCC season 13th, took fourth in the Independents’ Championship and second in the Jack Sears Trophy for drivers without an outright podium at the start of the season.
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport ended the season seventh in the Teams’ Championship and second in the Independent Teams’ standings.