ASTC: Paul Morris Wins BMW Sports Trophy International Award

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19: BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Champion Paul Morris has won the prestigious BMW Sports Trophy, which carries a prize of $54,263, for his outstanding performances in 1999. The German car manufacturer makes the award ...

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19: BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Champion Paul Morris has won the prestigious BMW Sports Trophy, which carries a prize of $54,263, for his outstanding performances in 1999.

The German car manufacturer makes the award annually to the most successful non-works BMW driver in touring car racing worldwide.

Morris claimed the 1999 Australian Super Touring Championship title in his first year as a team owner, winning nine of the 21 races in a BMW 320i.

His results also included winning the rain-affected 500km Super Touring endurance race at Bathurst in October, and finishing first and second in the two Guia touring car events at the annual Macau Grand Prix the following month.

"It's a big honour to win this award because there are so many good drivers racing BMWs in various championships around the world," said Morris.

"We made a decision to set up a new team at the start of the '99 season, and that made the results we achieved even more satisfying."

"The prizemoney from this award will help with the budget we need to try and win the championship again this year."

The 32-year-old from the Gold Coast is the second successive Australian driver to win the BMW award, following fellow-Queenslander Cameron McLean who was successful in 1998.

Morris said he would be unable to receive his prize in person at the annual BMW Motorsport awards in the Austrian alpine resort of Kitzbuhel later this month because he was preparing for his 2000 racing commitments.

Since Morris made his Super Touring debut in 1994 he has become the most successful driver in the history of the Australian championship.

Morris is the only three-times champion, winning the title in 1995 and 1997 as a BMW Motorsport works driver before his 1999 success. He has also won a record 33 championship races and 19 pole positions as fastest qualifier.

This year's eight-round championship starts at Oran Park in Sydney on May 28. The final four rounds will be held during the summer months from November through to February, 2001.

The Seven Network will provide 16 hours of free-to-air television coverage of the championship.

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