Strong pace at Rockingham for Morgan
Rounds 15 and 16 of the Renault UK Clio Cup took place in Northamptonshire at Rockingham Motor Speedway. The circuit always presents a new challenge to drivers with its oval-style banked corners and a technical infield section which has lent itself well to Morgan in previous seasons.
During Friday testing, Morgan made good progress on his old tyre run and by the end of the 40 minute session, was placed in 6th despite not running new tyres like all competitors in front of him. With session two shorlty after, a quick change to the setup enabled Morgan to get close to the fastest time of the day and if he had a clean lap matching best sectors, he would have been 2nd overall.
With confidence in his pace from Friday, Morgan was hopeful of a set of good starting positions for the race. On the first new tyre run, he was left in 10th on the timesheet yet despite the added pressure of having to get a lap on the second set of tyres, Morgan moved up the timesheet to secure a 3rd place starting position for race 1.
Saturday’s race 1 got underway smoothly and with the first braking zone being into a hairpin, the usual 1st lap excitement lived up to expectation. Having to avoid his team mate Ant Whorton-Eales who had been tagged early on, Morgan emerged 4th in the pack but soon got caught in a fierce battle for 4th place. After some contact with Paul Rivett he slipped back into 5th place and showed good pace in bringing the car home ahead of James Colburn.
With race 2 being held on Sunday, the anticipation for the race was mounting and Morgan was confident of making progress up the order from his 8th place grid slot. A fantastic start got Morgan up to 4th place on lap1 but unfortunately a small error on the grid meant that he had to serve a drive through penalty on lap 2 along with 3 other drivers which moved him down to last place. With his never give in attitude however, he raced all the way home to catch and pass the backmarkers to steal some more valuable points. His hard work paid off as he managed to overtake another car on the last lap to come home 10th place and preserved his 6th place position in the championship.
Talking about the weekend, Morgan said:
It’s been another frustrating weekend as we showed great pace but couldn’t quite hook up two laps in qualifying which decides your starting position for the races. The first race was really enjoyable and I had some great battles with Paul Rivett and James Colburn. I was hoping for much of the same in Sunday’s race but ruled myself out of the running after a jumped start. It was my mistake but I’ve learnt from it and the practice will set me up well for my next race which is at Paul Ricard for the Eurocup Clio Championship.”
The next race meeting is the season finale at Brands Hatch GP and takes place between 10th – 12th October. Morgan lies 6th in the standings and is looking for two podium finishes to top off his season at a track where he has had 3 victories in the Clio.