Points for Morgan on Monza debut
Reading-based racing driver Alex Morgan secured two eighth-place finishes during the penultimate race weekend of the 2015 SEAT Leon Eurocup at Monza, Italy, on 3-4 October 2015. In his first visit to the iconic and challenging Italian circuit, Baporo Motorsport driver Alex claimed points in both of the races to put him sixth in the series’ standings.
Bridgend-born Alex overcame a series of challenges this weekend: he had to learn the notoriously quick 5,793m circuit during practice sessions, while coping with mixed autumnal weather conditions. Throughout Saturday’s wet qualifying session, Alex continued to became more familiar and confident on the circuit. He completed 12 laps in the 30-minute session, setting his best time of 2:18.013 on his final lap to put him 12th on the grid for each of the weekend’s races.
Lining up for race one, Alex knew that the priority was to get cleanly through the tight first chicane. After a difficult start, he settled into the race pace before beginning to pick his way through the field. On lap three he was up to 11th place, driving cleanly and consistently to then pass Spanish driver David Cebrián for tenth on lap five. The following lap, Alex gained a place after overtaking Portuguese driver Lourenço Beiräo Da Veiga on the entry to the second chicane. He continued to maintain his position until the final lap when he was able to get around Fran Rueda to cross the line eighth and add another point to his tally.
Sunday’s dry race got off to a good start for Alex. Quick off the line, he was up from 12th to ninth place early on in the first lap, improving this again to eighth before the end of lap one. He managed to make the most of the battles ahead to sweep through into fifth place before the safety car was called for an incident further down the order.
After a mid-race safety car and red flag period, the action resumed with just six minutes left on the clock. Alex had a good restart to maintain his place, but was embroiled in a battle with Manuel Giao, Schmarl and Briché for positions. Alex eventually lost out to the trio after they took advantage of the escape roads at the first chicane, which frustratingly cost him a top five finish.
Speaking about the weekend Morgan said:
That was a tough but exhilarating weekend! It was so exciting to race at such a legendary circuit as Monza. Seeing the old track and then racing on the F1 track was very special. I knew I had a lot to do this weekend to learn this very fast circuit with complicated chicanes, and the weather conditions didn’t make it any easier. We had a mix of wet and dry sessions that made it harder to find the consistency needed in the race. Race one went well and I was happy to have made up places after an uncharacteristic bad start. I got in the points, which was the aim, and was hoping to do better in race 2. Having got up to fifth early on, the safety car period allowed me to settle down and get back into the zone. I was prepared to attack for a podium but I fell foul of some pretty bad manoeuvres by my competition. Frustratingly all those places I lost from people overtaking outside of the track limits were not conceded after the race footage had been evaluated, but I’m even more fired up for the last race of the championship as a result. For my first season in the SEAT Leon Eurocup I’m happy with my place in the standings, but I’ll be giving it one last push in Barcelona to take home as many points as possible.
Heading to the final race event of his debut season, Alex is running in sixth place in the series standings on 36 points, with a maximum of 23 points available from qualifying and the two remaining races. The season finale will be held on 31 October – 1 November at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain.