A debut win for Touring Car star Adam Morgan resulted in a dream start to his TCR UK / Dunlop Touring Car Trophy campaign. The Ciceley Motorsport driver started from the second row at Donington Park remaining out of trouble to inherit the lead in his Cupra TCR. In the championship fight, Lewis Kent recovered to third after a lap one spin, reducing the gap going into the final race.
It would be a Morgan 1-2 as TCR Europe competitor Alex Morgan followed him home, also making his debut in the series. Meanwhile, Darron Lewis, who started ninth finished as the top TCT runner, in fourth with Team HARD in the VW Passat.
A disastrous start for championship hopeful Lewis Kent saw him make contact with Will Neal on the run down to the Old Hairpin, sending him across the grass and over the other side of the track. He rejoined, but at the back, pitting to clear his car as the safety car was called. Neal hit the barrier but continued, only to spin at Craner’s attempting to catch back up retiring. The safety car had originally been called for Stewart Lines who was beached in the gravel at turn one after contact with the Team HARD VW Passat of Paul Taylor.
This left Henry Neal to lead the cars away with Darelle Wilson in second. Wilson had been given a drive through for a jump start, but just before serving it, collided with Neal as he attempted to move into the lead, spinning the Honda Civic Type R Fk5 backwards into Coppice. Wilson would pick up a five place grid penalty for race two as a result.
As Wilson served his penalty, Adam Morgan inherited the lead from Alex Morgan, as Lewis Kent slowly worked his way back up the field towards rival James Turkington. With six minutes of the race left to run Kent, made the sweep around the outside of the ballasted Cupra through the Craner Curves. The Hyundai i30 was quickly setting fastest laps, but with a 7sec gap to the Morgan’s progress was soon halted.
Josh Coggan had been in line for third place overall, even becoming the first driver to drop below the 1min 14s mark, but a mistake in the closing stages saw him run off the track at Coppice. This allowed Kent and Darron Lewis through into third and fourth, as Coggan crossed the line fifth just behind his Team HARD teammate.
Henry Neal recovered to sixth after his spin, with Wilson out-dragging Turkington to the line as the points leader attempted to stay out of Neal’s way into the final chicane only to drop a further place.
Ninth went to Richard Woods in the Ford Focus, as Nick Halstead rounded out the top ten after technical issues held him back throughout. The result guarantees that Wilson secures third in the TCR UK standings, with Halstead fourth. Paul Taylor was the last of the runners on the lead lap as Stewart Lines and Will Neal came across the line two laps down.
New Winner Adam Morgan, said;
“I’ve not had much time in the car at all. Qualifying was the first time I actually pushed the car. So in terms of setup, I’ve not done much, it was a suck-it-and-see setup.
“It was really tricky conditions as everyone was struggling for tyre temperatures early on in the damp and stayed out of trouble. Once I saw Darelle had the drive through, I knew I didn’t have to push and I just needed to hold my position and go from there. Alex kept me honest as he was pushing the whole way through, but I managed the gap to hold on to the win.”