Morris struggles for grip in qualifying for Stegbar Canberra 400.
Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris struggled from a lack of grip in today's qualifying session for this weekend's fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship in Canberra.
The 34-year-old from Queensland's Gold Coast qualified 30th for the Stegbar 400 this weekend with a best lap time of 1-min 46.047-secs around the 3.9km street circuit in a new VX Commodore. He drove a total of 11 laps in qualifying and finished 2.286-secs behind provisional pole position winner Jason Bright, who was fastest in the session in a Holden Racing Team Commodore.
Morris had some brake problems with his new car in the opening two practice sessions, before qualifying. He said the performance of the brakes was improved in qualifying, but he was slowed by a lack of front-end grip. During the session he also hit trackside tyres avoiding the Orrcon Ford Falcon of Mark Larkham, who had gone off the track.
Tomorrow the top 15 in qualifying will participate in the one-lap 'Shoot Out' to determine starting positions for those cars. This will be followed by the first of the three races, over 25 laps. There will be another 25-lap race on Sunday, followed by a 50-lap event.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "We improved our lap times every session today, but to be honest I expected us to be closer to the front guys. In practice I was struggling with the brakes in a couple of places compared to when we were here last year. With a new car it's the type of problem you sometimes need a few sessions to fix. The brakes were better in qualifying, but I didn't have the front-end grip I needed, especially mid-corner. We ran with two sets of new tyres and I felt I was on the edge. There are some corners where the other guys can get on the power quicker and that's costing me time. We put a scrape along the side when I hit the tyres, but there wasn't hardly any damage. I think we can run a good race pace tomorrow. The aim is to finish all the races this weekend and learn as much as we can about the new car."
<pre> RESULTS -- QUALIFYING: POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jason Bright Holden Racing Team Commodore 1:43.761 2. Marcus Ambrose Pirtek Ford Falcon 1:43.932 3. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Commodore 1:44.013 4. Craig Lowndes 00 Motorsport Ford Falcon 1:44.207 5. Garth Tander Valvoline Holden Commodore 1:44.372 6. Russell Ingall Castrol Holden Commodore 1:44.433 7. Steven Johnson Shell Helix Ford Falcon 1:44.487 8. Greg Murphy Kmart Holden Commodore 1:44.534 9. Max Wilson Betta Electrical Ford Falcon 1:44.684 10. Steven Richards Castrol Perkins Holden Commodore 1:44.692 OTHER: 30. Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 1:46.047
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 4): Skaife 1044, Murphy 577, Ambrose 508, Kelly 459, Bright 427, Lowndes 403, Tander 401, Richards 398, Johnson 273, Longhurst 257. Other: Morris 29