Morris slowed by incident in V8 Supercar pre-qualifying at Eastern. Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris has failed to secure a starting position in this weekend's third round of the V8 Supercar Championship at Sydney's Eastern...
Morris slowed by incident in V8 Supercar pre-qualifying at Eastern.
Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris has failed to secure a starting position in this weekend's third round of the V8 Supercar Championship at Sydney's Eastern Creek circuit after his car was damaged from contact with another vehicle in today's pre-qualifying session.
Morris was eliminated from the round when he finished 10th fastest among the 13 drivers in the pre-qualifying session. The top seven from the 15-mins session filled the final grid positions alongside 25 automatic qualifiers who will form a field of 32 cars for the 20-mins race tomorrow, and two 150km events on Sunday.
During the early stages of the session Morris set his fastest lap time of 1-min 33.854-secs around the 3.9km track on previously used Dunlop control tyres. The 34-year-old from the Gold Coast then returned to the pits and had new tyres fitted in a bid to improve his lap time and claim a top seven position.
However, on Morris' first fast lap on fresh rubber his VX Commodore made contact with the Holden driven by Steven Owen approaching Turn Three. The incident bent the right rear-wheel and rear suspension on Morris' car and he also punctured the left-front tyre. Morris then returned to the pits again for repairs to his car, but there was insufficient time for him to complete a lap before the session ended.
Brad Jones, driving an Ozemail Ford Falcon, was quickest in the pre-qualifying session with a lap of 1-min 33.020-secs. Others who qualified for the round were Glenn Seton, Neil Crompton, Greg Ritter, Cameron McConville, Mark Larkham, and Cameron McLean.
Morris, who also failed to pre-qualifying for the previous round at Phillip Island earlier this month, will now have to contest the session again in round four at Hidden Valley in Darwin in May.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "We'd been third quickest in the (practice) session before pre-qualifying, and the car felt good. I thought I'd be able to do the time needed to get into top seven, because our laps were good even on 'old' tyres. Then we had some drama with (Steven) Owen's car. I'd started my first 'flying lap' with new tyres and came up to Turn Two. He (Owen) had gone off and when he came back onto the track our cars hit. I had tried to move left to avoid him, but the load punctured the front (left) tyre and half-spun me. There was quite a bit of damage to my car and we ran out of time. It was a shame I didn't get an opportunity to put in a quick lap because I think we could have made the cut no problems. Hopefully our luck will change soon."
<pre> RESULTS -- PRE-QUALIFYING:
POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Brad Jones Ozemail Ford Falcon 1:33.020 2. Glenn Seton Ford Credit Falcon 1:33.284 3. Neil Crompton 00 Motorsport Ford Falcon 1:33.417 4. Greg Ritter Shell Helix Ford Falcon 1:33.516 5. Cameron McConville Lansvale Holden Commodore 1:33.550 6. Mark Larkham Orrcon Ford Falcon 1:33.571 7. Cameron McLean VIP Pet Foods Ford Falcon 1:33.570 8. Paul Romano Ultra Tune Holden Commodore 1:33.610 9. Wayne Gardner Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon 1:33.742 10. Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 1:33.854
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 2):
Other: Morris 16