Paul Morris, the most successful driver in the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship, today announced plans to expand his motor racing commitments in 2000 and also race in the V8 series for Holdens and Fords.

The 32-year-old from the Gold Coast said he would defend the national Super Touring title he won in 1999, and also drive a Holden Commodore in next year's 13-round V8 Shell Championship Series. He previously drove in both championships (Super Touring and V8 categories) in 1994.

"I'm keen to keep racing in Super Touring and I'm looking at various options," said Morris.

Morris is a three-times Australian Super Touring champion (1995-97-99), and has won a record 33 races and 19 pole positions as fastest qualifier in the series in BMWs.

His other results in the category include claiming pole position for the 1997 Bathurst 1000, winning this year's 500km endurance event at Mount Panorama on October 3, and finishing first and second in the two Guia touring car races at the annual Macau Grand Prix in November.

Morris' decision to race in the V8 category follows him driving for the Holden Racing Team in this year's FAI 1000 at Bathurst on November 14, and he finished third with Mark Skaife.

Morris' previous V8 experience also includes driving a Commodore in the 1994 Shell Australian Touring Car Championship.

"I enjoyed racing with the Holden team at Bathurst this year so now seems like a good time to go and do the whole V8 championship," he said.

"This is a logical step because I've always been keen to expand my racing, whether in Australia or overseas."

"The two championships (Super Touring and V8) combined will involve more than 20 weekends of racing, but I did both series in '94 so I know what to expect."

Morris won the 1999 Super Touring championship in a privately entered BMW 320, after previously being a works driver with the German manufacturer from 1994 up to 1997.

In 1998 Morris drove for PacWest Racing in the PPG Dayton Indy Lights Championship.

From: Mike Porter <mikep@qldnet.com.au>