BTCC Rockingham: Morgan dominates first race in tricky conditions

Adam Morgan won Sunday's opening British Touring Car Championship race at Rockingham with a dominant performance in tricky conditions

BTCC Rockingham: Morgan dominates first race in tricky conditions

The Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes A-Class racer stormed from pole position into the lead at the opening corner, assisted by contact behind between Dan Cammish (Team Dynamics Honda Civic) and front row starter Sam Tordoff (Motorbase Performance Ford Focus).

Tordoff spun, while other cars - including that of Cammish's team-mate and championship hopeful Matt Neal - piled in to the stationary Focus.

The skirmish allowed Tom Chilton (Motobase Ford Focus) into second place, while Cammish ran third ahead of the fast-starting Team BMR Subaru Levorg of Ash Sutton, who was up from the fifth row of the grid.

After a brief safety car period to clear up the broken cars, Morgan again raced clear as Chilton began to struggle with degrading front tyres.

Morgan, whose victory was his third of the season, said: "I knew it would be all about the start and I wanted to reach the opening hairpin first. It was a relief when I saw it all kicking off behind me.

"After that, I was able to manage the pace, although there was a shower in the early stages which meant I was having to be careful on the brakes and I was searching for grip."

Chilton fell back late on into the clutches of Sutton, who pounced on his rival going through the Tarzan hairpin on lap 13 to secure runner-up spot.

Chilton was forced to defend for the remainder of the race as Cammish and Chris Smiley (BTC Norlin Honda Civic) swarmed all over him.

"That was not a nice race," said Chilton. "When your tyres are overcooked and there was rain coming down too, I was a sitting duck.

"It was my job to make it as tough as possible for those behind me, and I needed to work hard to keep the podium finish: it was the best I could manage."

Smiley had got ahead of Cammish briefly, but a touch between the pair gifted fourth back to the Team Dynamics man. However, a superior exit from the final corner gave Smiley a run to leap into fourth by a narrow margin at the flag.

Mike Bushell took sixth in his Team Hard VW CC ahead of Colin Turkington in the WSR BMW 125i M Sport, which was carrying 66kg of success ballast.

The Northern Irishman moved back to the head of the points standings after his main rival Tom Ingram, who had been running seventh in the Speedworls Motorsport Toyota Avensis, pulled off the track on the final lap with a fly-by-wire throttle system failure.

Result - 18 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 27m06.372s
2 Ash Sutton Team BMR Subaru 3.017s
3 Tom Chilton Motorbase Ford 7.031s
4 Chris Smiley BTC Norlin Honda 7.293s
5 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 7.352s
6 Mike Bushell Team Hard Volkswagen 8.830s
7 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 9.459s
8 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Mercedes 11.934s
9 Rory Butcher AmD Tuning MG 13.547s
10 Matt Simpson Eurotech Racing Honda 14.306s
11 Rob Austin HMS Racing Alfa Romeo 16.028s
12 Senna Proctor Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 16.305s
13 Jack Goff Eurotech Racing Honda 16.784s
14 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 22.370s
15 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 23.539s
16 Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning Audi 27.063s
17 Ricky Collard WSR BMW 27.339s
18 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 29.702s
19 James Cole Motorbase Ford 30.304s
20 Michael Caine Team Hard Volkswagen 30.727s
21 Daniel Lloyd BTC Norlin Honda 31.490s
22 Glynn Geddie AmD Tuning MG 39.491s
23 Jason Plato Team BMR Subaru 40.062s
24 Bobby Thompson Team Hard Volkswagen 1 Lap
25 Tom Oliphant Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 1 Lap
26 Brett Smith Eurotech Racing Honda 2 Laps
- Tom Ingram Speedworks Toyota Retirement
- Josh Cook Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Retirement
- Sam Tordoff Motorbase Ford Retirement
- Ollie Pidgley Team Hard Volkswagen Retirement
- Sam Smelt AmD Tuning Audi Retirement


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BTCC Rockingham: Morgan beats Tordoff and Cammish to land first pole
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