Adam Morgan takes hard-fought win in second Mini Celebration Trophy race at Silverstone
BTCC star Adam Morgan trounced the regulars by claiming a hard-fought win in the second Mini Celebration Trophy race at the Silverstone Classic. Passing Chris Middlehurst two laps from the end, Morgan in Nick Swift’s car ended up on top of a sensational six-car fight for victory.
“If you want to go racing and have some fun, buy a Mini!” a jubilant Morgan said. “The racing is incredible, I was missing gears and getting passed by four cars but the next lap because of the tow you catch up with all of them again! This weekend has really been great fun.”
Ending up a fighting second on the road, Middlehurst had been racing a Mini with a loose rear bumper, and was given the black-and-orange flag two laps into the race. Choosing to ignore that, the black flag was waved for him two laps from the end – similarly in vain, resulting in him being scratched from the results.
Still sixth one lap from the end, Ian Curley charged past Endaf Owens, Darren Turner and Michael Caine to claim third place – which due to Middlehurst’s disqualification was turned into second.
“A phenomenal race!” said Curley. “They are all awesome drivers so you have to be on top of it. I wish that was an hour long! I had a phenomenal race with Michael – he was there!”
Enjoying the experience just as much as the winner, Caine completed the podium in his first attempt at racing Minis.
“God, I’m too old for this!” said Caine. “This takes me back to racing Caterhams. And you can really race these guys, you can trust them.”
A topsy-turvy first lap saw Chris Middlehurst quickly grab the lead – in a car with a loose rear bumper – with Tom Bell storming up to second place, in a Mini with the boot open, Abarth-style! Adam Morgan, who was initially second, now had Ian Curley to cope with while the winner of the first race, Darren Turner, was holding off Michael Caine.
On lap 2, Bell momentarily dislodged Middlehurst from first place but the two defective cars swapped places again to continue to lead. Curley was now up into third, and Caine into fifth. Meanwhile, Endaf Owens had made seventh place his own, Elliot Stafford following the Welshman past Jeff Smith into eighth.
Soon, it was all over for Bell, and no sooner than the ‘Abarth Mini’ pulled off out of Village the black-and-orange meatball flag was shown to Middlehurst. He wasn’t coming in on the next lap, though, and Middlehurst still led the leading six cars into lap 5, now in the order of Morgan, Caine, Curley, Turner and Owens. The group had dropped Stafford by eight seconds and Smith by 11.
Five laps done, Morgan was closing in on Middlehurst in the lead, leaving Caine, Curley and Turner to fight over third place – with lots of fender bending involved! Owens had now caught up with the pushing and shoving in front of him, and quickly moved into fifth, pushing Curley down to sixth. Going into lap 6, Middlehurst was shown the black flag for ignoring the meatball but then lost the lead to Morgan anyway as the pair went into Farm.
Into the final lap, Middlehurst still carried on, but behind him Curley had moved from sixth to third in the space of one lap. While Curley defended from Caine going into Maggotts, Turner got ahead for a moment but Caine got him back on the exit of Becketts. Morgan held on to win from the black-flagged Middlehurst, with Curley taking third on the road, ahead of Caine, Turner and Owens. Stafford ended the race in a lonely seventh, while Jeff Smith, Chris Morgan and Aaron Smith completed the top-ten.