BTCC Thruxton 2018 wins for Neal, Cook and Morgan

The opening race gets underway (Photo by Marc Waller)Thruxton saw the latest rounds of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and a change of championship leader as Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport's Adam Morgan moved to the lead with a victory in the final race after also scoring well in the days first two races.


The weekend was held in warm sunny conditions which attracted a record crowd to the Hampshire circuit.

Matt Neal took the first win of the day after taking pole in the qualifying session on Saturday. It was Colin Turkington who came through to take the challenge to the Honda driver. He pulled alongside off the line but Neal made it ahead and held first place until the flag.

“That was very special – this one’s for Henry Hope-Frost. We’ve certainly got the fever today. It’s the first win for the new Honda Civic Type R, and on Yuasa’s 100th Anniversary weekend. I think the warm weather suited us and helped us to get the power down with front-wheel drive, and I got the best start I’ve made in a couple of years. We did a race simulation yesterday and knew we were pretty solid over a race distance.

Still, I thought Colin would come back at me, but one of the new Civic Type R’s key strengths is its speed through the quick corners out the back of the lap and that allowed me to stretch my legs a bit.”

The Team GardX Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus of Sam Tordoff hunted down Dan Cammish’s Honda for the final place on the podium, but Cammish fended off every advance, and grabbed the second outright podium of his debut season.

Race two saw Josh Cook win his second ever BTCC victory after his recent first win at Donington Park. It was initially Turkington that beat Neal away at the start, passing the Honda into the complex.

Dan Cammish made a bad start allowing Tordoff’s Focus and Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek BMW through.

Behind that, the two Powermaxed Vauxhalls of Josh Cook and Senna Proctor were making a charge up the field passing Chilton’s Shredded Wheat Focus. Cook then also passed Torfoff and Jordan before setting his sights on Neal. He passed him at the final chicane and then shortly afterwards he had passed Turkington for the lead. He then pulled away to take his second win of the season. He spoke afterwards;

“That was really good fun. To win my first race at Donington Park was obviously enjoyable, but to do it from the middle of the pack like that was even better. It’s the first time I’ve been round here this weekend without any weight in the car. The Astra was on rails at the front and we were really strong through Church, which allowed us to carry good momentum onto the back straight. That said, the rear was moving around quite a lot which caused plenty of big sideways moments! All credit to the Power Maxed Racing guys – qualifying didn’t quite go our way, but we knew we had the pace and when the points are available, we’ll certainly take them.”

Chilton takes an unexpected line at the chicane (Photo by Marc Waller) Midfield chaos in race three (Photo by Marc Waller) Honda cheer Neal home (Photo by Marc Waller) 

 

 

 

Adam Morgan then came out on top in the reverse grid draw which set him up for a dominant win in race three. He took the lead from the start and other than an early attack by Proctor he was never headed. Proctors challenge was halted when he came under pressure from Jack Goff’s Eurotech Honda. As those two battled, Adam Morgan was able to drive away.

Goff eventually passed Proctor in the closing stages to continue his run of podiums at every meeting this season.

But it’s now Morgan who leads the championship;

“I didn’t expect this, to be honest, because I knew Senna [Proctor] and the Vauxhall would be quick so I was anticipating being put under a bit of pressure, but I was confident and I got the start really hooked-up.

After getting through the Complex for the first time, it was just qualifying lap after qualifying lap – it was, ‘let’s get on with this and go’. Senna kept me honest and pushed me all the way, and Jack [Goff] did the same later on but I was able to manage the gap and on the last lap, I was able to calm it down a bit and enjoy the moment. It’s a credit to all the Ciceley guys, who have worked their socks off over the winter and early part of the season. To be leading the championship is a first for us, so now we’ll go to our favourite track carrying full ballast, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Morgan leads the championship by just a point from Josh Cook, with the previous championship leader Tom Ingram a further ten points behind. Speedworks Motorsport’s Ingram had a difficult day after a non-finish in the opener, but the Toyota star recovered some ground with a seventh place and a brand new lap record in the final race of the day.

Yvan Muller’s 2002 Thruxton lap record was the longest record on the BTCC calendar, but it was beaten a number of times during the weekend. Eventually it was Ingram who earned the record – his 1:17.060s the best ever by a BTCC car around Thruxton.

Vauxhall now lead the Manufacturers’ standings, as well as the Teams’ table for the Power Maxed TAG Racing squad. Morgan and his Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport team hold the lead in both Independents’ standings, whilst a trio of top ten finishes for BTC Norlin Racing’s Chris Smiley have pushed him to the top of the Jack Sears Trophy standings.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will return in three weeks time for Rounds 10, 11 and 12 at Oulton Park.

Morgan celebrates the win (Photo by Marc Waller) Neal celebrates the race one win (Photo by Marc Waller) Race two podium (Photo by Marc Waller) The final podium of the day (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 


2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 7 – Thruxton

1 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 16 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.860s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +3.699s
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +4.040s
5 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +5.290s
6 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +8.922s
7 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +9.361s
8 Brett SMITH (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +9.725s
9 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +14.929s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +15.436s

2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 8 – Thruxton

1 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing 16 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +1.325s
3 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +5.285
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +6.287s
5 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +6.595s
6 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +7.005s
7 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +7.419s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +7.816s
9 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +9.114s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +10.203s

2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 9 – Thruxton

1 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport 16 laps
2 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +2.433s
3 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +3.147s
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +5.045s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +5.994s
6 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +6.544s
7 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +6.922s
8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +7.722s
9 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +12.985s
10 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +13.205s

Penalties

Race 1
Michael Caine received a verbal warning and two penalty points for an incident involving Tom Boardman

Race 2
Josh Cook received a verbal warning for gaining an unfair advantage in an incident involving Andrew Jordan

James Cole received a verbal warning for an incident involving Tom Oliphant

Weekend
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing have been deducted 10 points from the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ totals as it has exceeded the engine allowance for the season  By Marc Waller 

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