Ciceley Motorsport will give its venerable Mercedes-Benz A-Class its final outing with the team in the British Touring Car Championship in this weekend’s season finale at Brands Hatch.
The Lancashire-based team built its first A-Class in 2013, with the car making its debut in the 2014 season with Adam Morgan.
Since then, Morgan has raced Mercedes machinery for the past seven years, making the car one of the oldest on the grid.
Morgan has raced the car to eight overall wins, 30 podiums, 12 fastest laps, led 144 laps and has taken the start 245 times in the NGTC A-Class.
Ciceley claims that the car is ‘arguably the most reliable in the championship’, having twice been the only car to finish ever racing lap in the season, whilst in 2014 – 2015 the car finished over 40 races without a mechanical breakdown.
As well as Morgan’s car, the team has run a second car for Jack Butel in 2020, whilst two cars have been run by the team for the past three years. In total, three cars were built by Ciceley, with one being sold to Aiden Moffat’s outfit for the 2015 season.
“I’m really sad to be saying goodbye to my A-Class next weekend, she’s had some great liveries,” said Morgan.
“I am determined to say goodbye to her on a massive high. She has had great pace this year; Steve Farrell [Morgan’s race engineer] has rediscovered the sweet spot.
“We have carried out loads of development work on the car and the time spent down at Multimatic on the rig has paid massive dividends.
“Last time out at Snetterton we were second all day on the Saturday, until the dreaded track limits call! Then she battled at the front with brand new cars during race three and grabbed a decent P2.
“With the Hybrid era fast approaching we have decided to make an early move to prepare ourselves for the next chapter of the BTCC and futureproof the team moving forward.
“So, with a heavy heart I will be trying my upmost to send her off with a trophy or two!”
Commercial Director Norman Burgess believes that the time is ‘perfect’ for the team to look to the future and developing a new car to race in the championship.
“Although we are all sad to say goodbye to our Mercs, we are very excited about our 2021 plans,” said Burgess. “Commercially it’s the perfect time for us to make a change.
“Carlube Triple R and Mac Tools have supported us fully throughout this pandemic and we need to deliver to them, the results they deserve on track, to fully repay their continued faith in the team.
“An announcement of these plans will be made in due course.”
The A-Class cars will remain eligible to compete in the BTCC until the end of the 2023 season, with the team listing them for sale to interested independent outfits.
“We have had interest from other teams in buying them and they would come with massive spares and comprehensive data packages, so we are hopeful they will remain within the championship,” added Burgess.
“They have been fastidiously maintained and improved throughout their time with the team and are still running at the front, delivering consistent qualifying and race pace.
“The future is very bright for us. We have the backing of our partners and the opportunity to really take the title fight to the big boys, we can’t wait to get going.”