Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris survived high-speed contact with Rick Kelly and a rain-soaked Pukekohe circuit to finish 14th in today's first race in round of the V8 Supercar Championship in New Zealand today. Morris...
Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris survived high-speed contact with Rick Kelly and a rain-soaked Pukekohe circuit to finish 14th in today's first race in round of the V8 Supercar Championship in New Zealand today.
Morris completed the 36-lap race, held in wet conditions, in 44-mins 25.230-secs in his VY Commodore. The 35-year-old Gold Coast driver finished 37.106-secs behind the race-winning Kmart Commodore of Melbourne-based New Zealander Greg Murphy.
After starting 22nd on the grid, Morris moved up two positions on the opening lap. He elected to make his compulsory pit stop to change tyres on lap three under Safety Car conditions after an incident involving the Fords of David Besnard, Mark Larkham, and Anthony Tratt, and Commodore drivers Cameron McConville and Jamie Whincup.
Morris moved up to 14th as the race wore on, and was on target for a possible top 10 finish when his car collided with Kelly's Kmart Commodore on the back straight at more than 200-km/h. The incident resulted in Morris temporarily losing control of his car. He managed to remain on the track, but was passed by four cars before resuming racing again.
The Pukekohe round will be completed tomorrow by two 54-lap races on the 2.8km track. Morris will start from 14th position in the first of the two races.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "The spray was bad. It was hard to see anything when you were behind other cars. On the sighting laps we made two spring changes. First we went to a softer spring, but it upset the balance of the car. So we went back to the harder spring. Once the race started I stayed out of trouble in the early laps, and then we made a good pit stop. We were looking good and I decided to sit in behind (Steven) Ellery until the spray died down. Then (Rick) Kelly moved over on me and hit the right side of the car near the front. The car started sliding away and some of the guys behind me came past. Luckily I managed to gather it back up before the end of the straight without going off. It was a scary moment because it could have been a big accident. After that things settled down and I managed to pass (Paul) Weel under brakes into Turn One. My car was sliding around the last few laps, but the conditions were the same for everyone. The good thing today was we moved up quite a few positions for tomorrow's race."