Paul Morris races into top 10 for first time in 2002. Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris today charged to his first top 10 race finish of this year's V8 Supercar Championship in the sixth round of the series at Perth's Barbagallo...
Paul Morris races into top 10 for first time in 2002.
Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris today charged to his first top 10 race finish of this year's V8 Supercar Championship in the sixth round of the series at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway.
Morris finished a season-best 10th in the second of the three 42-lap races around the undulating 2.4km circuit. He was 14th in yesterday's opening race, and 11th in the third and final event today.
The 34-year-old Queenslander scored 64 championship points at Barbagallo, and his results in all three races bettered his performances in previous rounds of the 2002 series. He missed two rounds earlier this year after being eliminated in pre-qualifying, and was slowed in the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide and in the Stegbar Canberra 400 by either mechanical problems or lingering back injuries.
Morris, who won the Calder Park round of the 2001 championship, held fourth place for a lengthy period during the second race at Barbagallo, but lost positions in the closing stages after his VX Commodore made contact with the Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon of David Besnard. Morris was temporarily forced off the track into a sand-trap, but was able to resume racing and finish the race.
In the third race Morris was sixth in the early laps, and then dropped out of the top 10 as he struggled with understeer and a lack of entry speed into corners. The Barbagallo round marked the second championship appearance of the new Commodore built by Morris' team at their Gold Coast headquarters.
Holden Racing Team driver Jason Bright, who won the third race at Barbagallo, took overall honours for the round. His team-mate Mark Skaife, who was fourth in the round, retained the championship lead with a tally of 1,493 points. Kmart Commodore driver Greg Murphy is second in the series on 884 points. The seventh round of the championship is at Oran Park, NSW, from July 26-28.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES:
"This weekend has been a big turnaround for the better. We were somewhere around the top 10 in every race so it shows we've found more speed and consistency with the new car. I'd hoped for better than 10th in the second race until (David) Besnard tried to come up the inside of me a cdouple of laps from the finish. Our cars collided and we both went off. I was fourth when it happened, and unfortunately it pushed both of us down the finishing order. In the last race we made some changes to try and get rid of the oversteer problems. The changes meant I could get the power down better, but then I had too much understeer and I couldn't carry enough momentum into corners. That's why I dropped some places. The main reason why we're starting to go better is getting more 'race miles' and testing with the (Dunlop) control tyres, and learning about the set-up with the new car. When we missed those two rounds a couple of months ago because of pre-qualifying it set us back with our development because we weren't getting as much track time as everyone else. Now we're starting to catch up. My new foam seat mould seems to have fixed up my back problems so that's another plus." <pre> RESULTS - RACE 2 (42 Laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Greg Murphy Kmart Holden Commodore 48:51.597 2. Jason Bright Holden Racing Team Commodore 48:51.818 3. John Bowe Ozemail Ford Falcon 48:52.669 4. Tony Longhurst Betta Electrical Ford Falcon 49:00.647 5. Cameron McConville Lansvale Holden Commodore 49:01.314 6. Neil Crompton 00 Motorsport Ford Falcon 49:01.805 7. David Besnard Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon 49:05.295 8. Brad Jones Ozemail Ford Falcon 49:05.795 9. Cameron McLean V.I.P. Petfoods Ford Falcon 49:08.149 10. Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 49:15.518 FASTEST LAP: Skaife 59.502
RESULTS - RACE 3 (42 Laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jason Bright Holden Racing Team Commodore 47:30.152 2. David Besnard Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon 47:31.642 3. Greg Murphy Kmart Holden Commodore 47:35.231 4. Brad Jones Ozemail Ford Falcon 47:37.330 5. Todd Kelly Kmart Holden Commodore 47:42.366 6. Garth Tander Valvoline Holden Commodore 47:42.637 7. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Commodore 47:48.971 8. Jason Bargwanna Valvoline Holden Commodore 47:53.580 9. Cameron McConville Lansvale Holden Commodore 47:026 10. Marcus Ambrose Pirtek Ford Falcon 47:54.443 OTHER: 11. Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 47:57.510 FASTEST LAP: Besnard 59.352-secs
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 6) Skaife 1,493 Murphy 884 Kelly 802 Bright 752 Ambrose 677 Lowndes 654 Richards 615 Besnard 507 Tander 501 Bowe 456 Other: Morris 133