TOURING car racer Adam Morgan will debut the new WIX Racing Mercedes A-Class at Brands Hatch this weekend.

The Blackburn driver will be one of 31 lining up on a bumper grid for the opening round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

And Morgan, who finished seventh overall in the 2013 standings, would be happy to match that achievement this year.

“There are seven BTCC champions and a further six race winners in the line-up, so I’m under no illusions about how hard it’s going to be,” said Morgan.

“However, the car has been faultless in testing, so we are going to Brands in a confident mood.”

The Ciceley Motorsport-run team were bang on the pace at the Championship’s media day launch at Donington Park last week.

As the first Mercedes to appear in the series for more than 20 years, the official reveal of the A-Class – which has been designed and built in-house by the Accrington-based team – was one of the most eagerly awaited moments of the launch.

“I’m feeling quietly confident about what we can achieve this season with the new Mercedes,” added Morgan.

“We’ve only done a few tests, but have already shown some good pace and I think we are in a good position when you consider the limited running we’ve completed.

“The A-Class is absolutely unbelievable. Chief Engineer Paul Ridgway and the boys have produced the best car that I’ve driven and it keeps surprising me with how good it is.

“This is a big season for us, and the response we have had from everyone to the new WIX Racing Mercedes is fantastic.

“Everything has been positive and I can’t wait to go racing and show what the car is capable of.”

This is Morgan’s third year in the BTCC and, after a difficult debut season, enjoyed a great 2013, establishing himself as one of the rising stars of tin-top racing.

It was no coincidence that the improvement in results came about after Morgan and dad Russell, a well-known rally and racing driver himself, decided to start their own team.

With a small squad of mechanics and engineers, led by Ridgway, and operating out of a unit in Accrington, Ciceley Motorsport are now one of the leading privateer teams.

“The car was built from a bare shell started back in September, so to get it where it is now is a major achievement for the whole team,” added Russell.

“But if we can be consistent and get into the top 10, then pick up podiums on the reverse grid races, then we'll be very happy.”