Mercedes privateer Adam Morgan scored his first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship victory of the season at Thruxton, powering his Mercedes-Benz A-Class to victory in the final, reverse-grid, race of the day.
Morgan led from start to finish to earn his second win in the series, but had to resist race-long pressure from MG6 ace Andrew Jordan to scoop the honours - including a high-pressure restart after a safety car period when Warren Scott crashed his Volkswagen CC.
Morgan's win capped a trio of BTCC races in which the winner of each race established themselves up front early on, but was always forced to drive under intense pressure to hold on to their success.
In the day’s opener Honda’s Gordon Shedden passed polesitter Aron Smith (Volkswagen CC) at the start, but was immediately chased by team-mate Matt Neal, who squeezed past Smith in to Allard bend early in the lap. Thereafter it rarely looked like Shedden would be threatened as Neal, who was always in striking distance, had to drive defensively from Smith and a charging Morgan. A late puncture ended Smith’s strong challenge.
The second race of the day was won by Jason Plato (Volkswagen CC) after an intense battle with Rob Collard (BMW 125i M Sport). Collard got his rear-wheel-drive car ahead of Plato at the start, but Plato responded on the second lap by out-dragging his rival around the outside line on the high-speed run in to the chicane. Thereafter Collard and Plato engaged in a cat and mouse chase, without ever overtaking one another. The victory was Plato’s 90th in the BTCC.
The results of Thruxton’s three races leave Honda’s Shedden in the championship lead after three of the championship’s ten events. The Scot is a mere eight points ahead of Colin Turkington. Meanwhile erstwhile points leader Neal, Plato, Morgan and Jordan are all within 16 points of the driver’s championship lead.
Honda continues to lead the manufacturers’ standings on 260 points, 14 clear of MG and 57 ahead of BMW. The only other registered manufacturer, Infiniti, continues to develop its pair of Q50s - one of which was driven by ex-F1 star Martin Donnelly for the first time this weekend - and is on 106 points.
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