Morris much more competitive at Barbagallo. Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris today produced his best result of this year's V8 Supercar Championship when he finished 15th in the opening race of the sixth round of the series in...
Morris much more competitive at Barbagallo.
Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris today produced his best result of this year's V8 Supercar Championship when he finished 15th in the opening race of the sixth round of the series in Perth.
The 34-year-old from Queensland's Gold Coast completed the 42-lap event at Barbagallo Raceway in a time of 43-mins 18.279-secs, and finished 37.141-secs behind the race-winning Holden Racing Team Commodore of championship leader Mark Skaife. The round will continue with two 100km races tomorrow.
Morris, who earned 18 championship points with his result at Barbagallo, attributed his improved form to performance gains with his new VX Commodore, which made its debut in round five in Canberra earlier this month, and the solving of lingering back problems.
In yesterday's opening practice session Morris recorded the 10th fastest lap, and in today's two practice sessions he was first and third. Morris finished 15th in qualifying, which followed the three practice sessions.
Skaife's win in the opening race at Barbagallo increased his championship points tally to 1,464. Kmart Commodore driver Rick Kelly retained second position in the series with 767 points after finishing fourth in the first race at Barbagallo.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES:
"It's been a tough season so far, but we're going much better here. We unloaded the car and it was on the pace straight off. I think our new car is showing a lot of potential. We raced it for the first time in Canberra, then we went back home and had a test day (at Queensland Raceway) and now we're moving forward to where we want to be. I felt we were much more competitive in race-trim today. Last year we had some tyre problems at this track so I drove conservatively in the race. I made my pit-stop early on, and then I was behind (Mark) Larkham for a long time. Near the end I managed to pass him and (Rick) Kelly. I haven't had any back problems at all. We've made a foam mould which I put behind my lower back in the seat and the pain has gone away. Canberra was the first time we used it and it seems to have fixed things. I feel good about tomorrow's races. Our tyres are in good shape and I think we can push on a little harder -- maybe a top 10 result is possible." <pre> RESULTS - RACE 1 (42 Laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Commodore 42:41.138 2. Jason Bright Holden Racing Team Commodore 42:41.904 3. Greg Murphy Kmart Holden Commodore 42:42.537 4. Todd Kelly Kmart Holden Commodore 42:51.235 5. Craig Lowndes 00 Motorsport Ford Falcon 42:54.380 6. Russell Ingall Castrol Perkins Holden Commodore 42:58.252 7. Marcus Ambrose Pirtek Ford Falcon 42:58.414 8. David Besnard Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon 43:06.223 9. Steven Richards Castrol Perkins Holden Commodore 43:09.312 10. John Bowe Ozemail Ford Falcon 43:09.570 OTHER: 15. Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 43:18.279
FASTEST LAP: Kelly 58.762-secs
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after race 1, round 6) Skaife 1,464 Kelly 767 Murphy 753 Ambrose 642 Lowndes 633 Bright 608 Richards 587 Tander 461 Johnson 411 Besnard 411 Other: Morris 87