Adam Morgan took a lights-to-flag victory in the final BTCC race of the day at Thruxton, surviving a safety car restart to take his first on-the-road win in the series.
Starting from pole as a result of the reverse grid draw, Morgan took advantage of running with little success ballast compared to his immediate rivals to quickly establish a healthy lead at the front of the pack as the top five remained in grid order in a relatively incident-free start.
The Mercedes driver had already put half a second between him and his closest pursuer, the Triple Eight MG of Andrew Jordan, by the end of the first lap.
By the time the Safety Car wiped out Morgan’s advantage after Warren Scott’s BMR VW ended up in the barriers, the gap between the first two stood at 2.6s.
Morgan wasted no time whatsoever in restoring his lead once the race resumed, cruising to his second win in the BTCC and his first on the road, as he inherited his only previous win at Brands Hatch last year as a result of a penalty for Jason Plato.
Jordan hung on for second, unable to challenge Morgan, with Sam Tordoff’s West Surrey Racing BMW and Colin Turkington’s BMR VW holding third and fourth respectively throughout in what was a fairly processional race at the head of the field.
Behind the top four, the order was somewhat more fluid, as Gordon Shedden made his way by Jack Goff after the Safety Car at Club chicane to claim fifth, a grassy moment for the MG man shortly after dropping him back to 11th.
That allowed Matt Neal, starting from the rear of the field with no success ballast after his race two retirement, to take a superb sixth after scything his way through the order, his progress aided considerably by the caution period.
Jason Plato, despite carrying maximum ballast in his Volkswagen, did well to hold off Neal for a number of laps, but was ultimately forced to give best to his long-time rival and finish seventh, just ahead of teammate Aron Smith, Josh Cook’s Chevrolet and Tom Ingram’s Toyota.
Andy Priaulx recovered to 13th place from 24th on the grid, with the third WSR BMW of Rob Collard slipping from an early top six position to a disappointing 14th.
Martin Donnelly meanwhile failed to finish the final race of his debut BTCC weekend with Infiniti, pulling into the pits just beyond mid-distance.
Shedden leaves Thruxton at the top of the standings on 114 points, eight clear of second-place man Turkington. Neal is just a further three back points in third, one ahead of Plato in fourth.
|19||Derek Palmer Jr.||Infiniti||36.828|
|21||Hunter Abbott||Audi||1 Lap|