Power steering problems put Morris out at Hidden Valley. Power steering problems forced Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris to retire from today's two races in the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship at the Hidden Valley...
Power steering problems put Morris out at Hidden Valley.
Power steering problems forced Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris to retire from today's two races in the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship at the Hidden Valley circuit in Darwin.
Morris' VX Commodore was damaged by contact with the Ford Falcons raced by Anthony Tratt and Wayne Gardner on the opening lap of the first of the two 35-lap races. The Holden Commodores of Russell Ingall, John Faulkner, and Rodney Forbes' Falcon were also involved in the multi-car pile-up, which forced the race to be stopped and later re-started.
Before the restart Morris' car was repaired by his team and he was able to take his place on the grid. However, the 34-year-old Gold Coast driver stopped after 22 laps because of power steering problems.
Morris started the second race from the rear of the grid, but completed only 11 laps before further problems with the power steering ended his stint behind the wheel.
In yesterday's opening race of the round, over 20 laps, Morris had finished 20th and scored 13 championship points. He failed to score points from today's races, which left him with an overall championship tally of 29.
Mark Skaife won both races today in a Holden Racing Team Commodore to extend his championship lead over second-placed Greg Murphy in a Kmart Commodore. The fifth round of the championship is the Canberra 400 from June 7-9.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "Things didn't go our way today. In the first race (Garth) Tander collided with me just after the start and I was out on the dirt. Once I got back on the track I'd lost a lot of positions and I was up to speed when cars started spinning everywhere in front of me. The track was blocked and I had nowhere to go. I got on the brakes and skidded sideways into the back of a couple of cars. The right side copped a big hit, along with the left front. We got back to the pits and fixed things up the best we could before the re-start. Once we started racing again I could feel there was something wrong with the car because it wasn't handling or steering properly. Then we had problems with the power steering and I had to stop. The car still wasn't right in the second race, and we had more trouble with the power steering. I'd say the problem was probably caused by the hit at the start of the first race, but we won't know for sure until we get the car back to the workshop."
RESULTS - RACE 2 (35 Laps):
POS DRIVER CAR TIME
1. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Commodore 41:40.363
2. Jason Bright Holden Racing Team Commodore 41:44.539
3. Todd Kelly Kmart Holden Commodore 41:49.972
4. Greg Murphy Kmart Holden Commodore 41:50.462
5. David Besnard Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon 41:55.183
6. Steven Richards Castrol Perkins Holden Commodore 41:59.742
7. Garth Tander Valvoline Holden Commodore 42:06.433
8. Jason Bargwanna Valvoline Holden Commodore 42:09.928
9. Marcus Ambrose Pirtek Ford Falcon 42:10.258
10. Brad Jones Ozemail Ford Falcon 42:10.624
DNF Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 22 laps
FASTEST LAP: Bright 1-min 9.065-secs
RESULTS - RACE 3 (35 Laps):
POS DRIVER CAR TIME
1. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Commodore 44:31.750
2. Jason Bright Holden Racing Team Commodore 44:32.061
3. Greg Murphy Kmart Holden Commodore 44:32.758
4. Steven Richards Castrol Perkins Holden Commodore 44:34.099
5. Marcus Ambrose Pirtek Ford Falcon 44:37.901
6. Todd Kelly Kmart Holden Commodore 44:38.352
7. David Besnard Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon 44:39.042
8. Garth Tander Valvoline Holden Commodore 44:39.282
9. Russell Ingall Castrol Perkins Holden Commodore 44:39.763
10. Brad Jones Ozemail Ford Falcon 44:40.334
DNF Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 11 laps
FASTEST LAP: Bright 1-min 9.080-secs
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