Paul Morris Motorsports & Sirromet Wines sponsor Aussie teenager in Europe. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10: Paul Morris Motorsports and its V8 Supercar sponsor Sirromet Wines will support Gold Coast teenager Josh Hunt in his international kart racing in ...
Paul Morris Motorsports & Sirromet Wines sponsor Aussie teenager in Europe.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10: Paul Morris Motorsports and its V8 Supercar sponsor Sirromet Wines will support Gold Coast teenager Josh Hunt in his international kart racing in Europe this year.
Hunt heads for Europe on Tuesday to race for Milan-based factory team Biesse Kart in the Formula A category in the Italian Championship, the Monaco Cup, the World Cup, and Margutti Cup.
The 17-year-old, who will be based in Italy most of the year, said his long-term goal was to progress to Formula One, but he has also been earmarked by Morris as a potential future member of his Holden Commodore V8 Supercar team in endurance events.
"More and more V8 teams are getting behind young drivers with a view to them doing a job at Bathurst a few years down the track, and we're no different," said Morris.
"Josh (Hunt) has plenty of speed and determination and we're keen to help him further his career in Europe. This type of sponsorship is now virtually essential for young Australians like him trying to climb the ladder overseas."
Hunt won the Australian CIK and Oceania Intercontinental A championship titles in 2001, and was also 'Young Ambassador' for the Indy 300 Champ Car race on the Gold Coast that year. In 2002 he raced in Europe for the first time, and said he was keen to continue his improvement in his second year of international competition.
"There were a lot of things to learn in my first year in Europe and the experience I gained will be a big help when I go back this time," said Hunt.
"Racing in Europe is a lot different to home, especially the grip and temperature conditions. You have 130 entries per race meeting, compared to about 30 back here in Australia, and there are no easy passes."
"The first corner can be a 'traffic-jam', and if you get caught up in the mid-field then it's difficult. My aim this year is to quality well and try and run consistently in the top five or 10. This sponsorship from Paul (Morris) and his team, and Sirromet Wines, is much appreciated."
Hunt said that his short-term goal was to perform sufficiently well this year to move up to the British Formula Ford Championship in 2004.
"That's my plan, but first I have to have a good season in karts," he said. "Paul (Morris) has said he would like me to test the Sirromet V8 Supercar sometime later this year so that's something extra to look forward to. A drive at Bathurst in a couple of years would be fantastic if things fall into place between now and then."
Hunt's team-mates this year include fellow-Australian Ben Horstman, from Orange, in NSW. The Biesse Kart team will have a crew of mechanics, and an engine builder at all major races.
The first race for Hunt in his 2003 schedule is the International Prize at La Conca in Italy on February 22-23.
"My team have asked me to come over early so I can acclimatise properly because we will be doing more racing in cold weather this year," he said.
Morris' first V8 racing commitments for 2003 will be in the non-championship support events at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne from March 7-9.
He will then contest the 13-round V8 Supercar Championship, starting with the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from March 21-23.