Mon, 02 November 2015
Reading-based racing driver Alex Morgan has claimed fifth place in the drivers’ standings of the 2015 SEAT Leon Eurocup, despite it being his first season competing in the series. The 28-year-old brought home fifth and sixth-place finishes in this weekend’s season finale, held at Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, to secure his top-five place overall. Bridgend-born Alex has had a fantastic season racing for Baporo Motorsport in the #22 SEAT Leon Cup Racer. He claimed his maiden victory in the series at the Nürburgring in Germany and finished on the podium at his home race at Silverstone. This weekend Alex was one of 33 drivers on the grid in Barcelona competing in the final event of 2015. During the two free practice sessions, Alex consistently improved his lap times and, during the 30-minute qualifying session Alex improved even further, setting a best lap time of 1:56.410 to put him tenth on the grid for the start of both races. Alex made a good start to race one on Saturday, maintaining position amongst the jostling pack as every driver fought for position and points. He continued to drive consistently, focused on clean laps and closing the gap to the car ahead. He moved up to ninth on lap eight, gaining another place after passing Lucile Cypriano the following lap. Alex continued to pick off the opposition, making his move on South African driver Shane Williams for seventh before beginning to chase down Spaniard Jordi Oriola ahead. Alex continued to put the pressure on Oriola for the remainder of the 14-lap race. Oriola defended hard as Alex repeatedly challenged him for position. On the penultimate lap, Alex seized his opportunity and passed for fifth place, which he maintained to the chequered flag. For the second of the weekend’s races, Alex again lined up tenth on the grid. He’d entered the race just three points behind rival Julien Briché in the championship standings and his sights were firmly set on his French opponent. Alex made a strong start to maintain his place but on lap one got hit heavily on two occasions damaging the car. With tyre degradation being an issue without damage, Alex knew he had to manage his tyres very well to even make the finish. At the halfway point, Alex moved up to ninth but was passed two laps later by title-challenger Stian Paulsen, who was on a charge to the front of the field. Paulsen’s charge was brought to an abrupt end when he was caught in a collision on the last lap. However, quick-thinking Alex was able to take advantage of the drama that ensued, improving his position to sixth place when he crossed the finish line. He secured three points from this sixth-place finish, which unfortunately wasn’t enough to pass Briché in the standings, but Alex has finished the year on a high with a fantastic tally of 43 points and fifth overall in his first season in the series and at the wheel of a SEAT Leon Cup Racer. Speaking about the weekend Morgan said:
What a year it’s been! I’ve had a huge amount of fun racing in the SEAT Leon Eurocup. The Baporo Motorsport team has been fantastic, and to compete in a field of 30-plus evenly-matched cars and come out fifth overall is a brilliant achievement. I’m so pleased with the result, particularly to have had a win and a podium finish against such strong competition in my first year. All but one of the drivers that finished ahead of me in the standings also raced in the 2014 series and so I feel that I’ve done well to learn the car and a load of new circuits so quickly. The driving style of these cars is different to anything I've raced before and with the very limited testing I've had, I can only be happy to finish 5th in the Championship. I was close to taking 4th overall but I knew my opportunity had gone after sustaining damage on the first lap. Nevertheless it's been a great year and I've had amazing support from my family, Infinity Sports Management and my team throughout. Let’s see what next year brings!