This is the racy new look of the Toyota Avensis in which BTCC rookie Adam Morgan will make his debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this season. Adam’s new car is being built in the Stockport workshops of Speedworks Motorsport ready for March testing, and this artist’s impression of its livery has been released as an appetite-whetter.
Morgan, 23 and from Ribchester in Lancashire, won his place on the BTCC grid thanks to his victory in the 2011 Ginetta Supercup: his reward from the British sportscar manufacturer is the largest prize on offer in British motorsport, worth in excess of £200,000.
Adam, who won three Ginetta Supercup races on the way to snatching the championship in the final rounds at Silverstone last October, cannot wait to get to grips with his new Avensis having sampled Frank Wrathall’s Dynojet Racing example late last year. “It took a bit of getting used to,” said Morgan, whose racing experience has been limited to rear-wheel-drive Ginettas, “but I got to grips with it quite well and upped my pace. I have no illusions that it is going to be difficult for me in the BTCC – I am very inexperienced compared with the other drivers out there – but I want to give it everything.
“This is a huge chance and I still don’t think it has quite sunk in that I have won the biggest prize in British motorsport. I am over the moon to be here; it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that has been handed to me.”
Ciceley Racing-backed Adam will be testing the Toyota of his Speedworks team-mate Tony Hughes at Thruxton later this month and, in addition to embarking on a punishing physical fitness programme which includes a triathlon, he plans to visit and drive many of the circuits on the BTCC calendar between now and the start of the season.
Speedworks Motorsport team principal Christian Dick is relishing the season ahead and the prospects for his twin Toyotas: “We are very excited that Adam is joining us for 2012 alongside Tony. As well as being a very likeable young man he has proven himself to be a very quick, competent driver. He has a very bright future.”
Morgan has a tough yardstick against which to be measured: his friend and fellow Lancashire racer Frank Wrathall made his BTCC debut last season in a Toyota, having won Ginetta’s top championship the previous season. Frank went on to score four BTCC podium finishes in his Dynojet Avensis, with a best result of second, on his way to championship 12th and the coveted ‘Rookie of the Year’ title.
This year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship starts and finishes at the historic Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, and between those 1 April and 21 October events will visit the Donington Park, Thruxton, Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton, Knockhill, Rockingham and Silverstone circuits on its round-Britain tour. All 30 races will be screened live on ITV4.