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Adam Morgan wins BTCC round three after tense battle

Sunday, April 03 2016

Adam Morgan won the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Brands Hatch after a tense finish, that saw the WSR BMWs of Sam Tordoff and Jack Goff ultimately fail to steal the victory.

Tordoff got a fine start from the reverse-grid pole and team-mate Goff tried to follow him, but Morgan immediately moved over to halt the BMW's progress. Morgan then took advantage of the BMW's cold tyres to take the lead into lap two.

Several incidents on lap one included a slow start for Ashley Sutton, a Mat Jackson-induced slide at Paddock Hill for Andrew Jordan, and gravel trips for Kelvin Fletcher and Mark Howard, all of which contributed to a third safety car intervention of the weekend.

Jackson was forced to make a stop for a puncture during the safety car period and rejoined at the back. At the front, Morgan got away well at the restart with the BMW's squabbling behind, and behind Jordan, the Hondas fought past Aron Smith, with Rob Collard also taking advantage. The BMW passed a ballast-laden Shedden into Paddock Hill bend, continuing a great start from 16th place.

A series of quick laps for a soft-tyred Morgan handed him a useful advantage at the head of the field as the BMWs tried to heat up their rubber. Meanwhile Matt Neal was making great progress, and passed Jordan for fourth place, bringing the BMWs into sight for the triple champion.

As the race progressed, it was clear that the BMWs were catching Morgan, and the gap to the Mercedes began to shrink alarmingly. Also suffering in the late stages was Shedden, who lost places to Jeff Smith and Aiden Moffat, before falling out of the race at Paddock Hill bend.

With three laps to go the leading three were as close as they had ever been, and Morgan drove a very defensive line around the Indy circuit. As they entered the final lap Tordoff looked vulnerable to attack from his team-mate, but they finished in the same order, Morgan making it three winners from three races.

Neal lost fourth place on the run to the line from Jordan, and Collard was only just able to hold off Jeff Smith, who finished ahead of Aron Smith, Moffat and Sutton, who recovered from his poor getaway.

Colin Turkington took the best Subaru finish with 12th place, four ahead of Jason Plato after a tough but encouraging weekend for the team.

After the race Morgan said:"I knew Sam was going to struggle for the first few laps, so I had to act quickly. I got two wheels on the grass but got a lead and tried to keep focussed. At the end I just managed to keep him off and kept my cool. The BMW kept getting bigger, and I tried to work out where I had the advantage. I'm mega chuffed."

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race three
1, Adam Morgan, WIX Racing, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, 27 Laps
2, Sam Tordoff, Team JCT600 with GuardX, BMW 125i M-Sport, +0.136s
3, Jack Goff, Team IHG Rewards Club, BMW 125i M-Sport, +0.449s
4, Andrew Jordan, Motorbase Performance, Ford Focus, +3.832s
5, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +3.869s
6, Rob Collard, Team JCT600 with GuardX, BMW 125i M-Sport, +4.192s
7, Jeff Smith, Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +4.195s
8, Aron Smith, BKR, VW CC, +5.702s
9, Aiden Moffat, Laser Tools Racing, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, +6.391s
10, Ashley Sutton, MG Racing RCIB Insurance, MG6 GT, +10.862s

At the end of the weekend it's a familiar look to the championship table, with Honda taking a 1-2 in the championship, Shedden's failure to finish dropping him five points behind team-mate Neal. Morgan's win places him third, just one point behind the reigning champion, whilst Aron Smith completed an encouraging weekend for debutants BKR, equal points with former champion Jordan.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings after 3 of 30 rounds
1, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing, 43 points
2, Gordon Shedden, Halfords Yuasa Racing, 38 points
3, Adam Morgan, WIX Racing, 37 points
4, Aron Smith, BKR, 32 points
5, Andrew Jordan, Motorbase Performance, 32 points

On 14/15 April Brands Hatch will host the opening rounds of the British GT Championship and rounds 4,5 and 6 of the BRDC British F3 Championship. Tickets are available in advance from £19, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.