Morgan’s promising podium ahead of home race at Oulton
Just under two weeks ago, Adam Morgan scored his second podium finish of the season at Thruxton (3/4 June), as WSR and BMW maintained its push for the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
This marked Morgan’s second podium of the season, ahead of his home race at Oulton Park this weekend (17/18 June).
The Team BMW driver started the final race of the day from pole position on the partially-reversed grid and finished in a strong second place aboard his BMW 330e M Sport at the series fastest circuit.
The Lancashire racer had been one of the stars of the opening race as he climbed from 15th on the grid to eighth spot, but was boxed in by a rival with a lap to go and fell to 13th.
He added 12th in Race Two and now sits eighth in the points while his results elevated Team BMW to second place in the Teams’ Championship and maintained BMW’s second spot in the Manufacturers’ points.
Team-mate Colin Turkington and Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill both drove consistently throughout race day after qualifying sixth and fifth.
Both recorded fourth-place finishes with Kent racer Hill taking the position in Races One and Two and Turkington doing likewise in Race Three.
Hill was restricted to tenth in the reversed-grid race while four-time series champion Turkington had been seventh and sixth – the latter result coming after a well-judged last-lap move.
Turkington maintained third place in the Drivers’ points while Hill moved up a spot to fourth.
Leicester’s Stephen Jelley started the opener alongside Morgan, but was turned around by a rival at Thruxton’s infamous chicane and spent the rest of the race fighting back from last to 19th. He added 18th and 16th in the day’s other races.
Adam Morgan, said: “If you’d told me after qualifying that I’d finish on the podium, I’d have taken it with both hands.
“I couldn’t make progress in Race Two because my relative pace was the same as the cars around me, but we had a bit of luck with the Race Three draw and the podium is the result. I knew that if I got caught, it would be tough to stay ahead. I made a small mistake and had to settle for second, but it’s a decent result to take to Oulton.
“I always look forward to racing at my home circuit – it attracts some of the biggest crowds on the calendar. I have lots of friends, family and sponsors there, and this year with the mixture of tyre compounds the racing will be even better.”
Colin Turkington, said: “[Thruxton] was about damage limitation. We had to maximise what we had and get good points if we could, so with that in mind it’s not a bad day. Ultimately when you’re at a track that you know doesn’t suit your car, and you still score decent points, you’re reasonably satisfied
“We’re not out of this fight, but we need to think about what we do now to find extra speed for Oulton and beyond.”
Stephen Jelley, said: “There were points available [at Thruxton], so it’s disappointing not to score any. I qualified next to Adam so if I hadn’t been turned around at the chicane, there’s every reason to think I could have had the reversed-grid pole and been on the podium – like I was last year.
“It’s been a hard weekend and getting past a load of cars who have pretty much the same pace as you is difficult, but the balance of the BMW is good. That’s something we’ll have to use to our advantage in the coming races.”
Jake Hill, said: “I’m not satisfied with two fourths today, even though I said yesterday that I would be. It was sensible points this weekend, but not what I was hoping for. It’s incredibly hard to pass at a track like Thruxton when the cars you’re around all have similar pace. You get in behind another car and you just lose the front grip and that keeps you bogged down in the pack.
“We need a performance lift for Oulton and a way to close the gap to the front. It’s not a big lift, but we need something because it’s not easy to fight for wins right now.”