V8 Supercar Championship - Round 9 V.I.P. Petfoods Queensland 500: Practice Friday, September 13 Morris third fastest in practice at Queensland Raceway. Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris today returned to a frontrunning...
V8 Supercar Championship - Round 9
V.I.P. Petfoods Queensland 500: Practice
Friday, September 13
Morris third fastest in practice at Queensland Raceway.
Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris today returned to a frontrunning position in the V8 Supercar Championship motor racing series.
The 34-year-old from Queensland's Gold Coast was third fastest in the opening two practice sessions for the V.I.P. Petfoods Queensland 500. He clocked a best lap time of 1-min 11.238-secs in the VX Commodore he is sharing with Brisbane driver Wayne Wakefield in the 500km endurance race at Queensland Raceway.
Morris' time, set in the second session, was just 0.162-secs behind Mildura teenager Rick Kelly, who was quickest in practice in a Holden Young Lions Commodore. Championship leader Mark Skaife, driving a Holden Racing Team Commodore, was second fastest.
The only problem for Morris' team today was when Wakefield made contact with the Castrol Perkins Holden Commodore of Steven Richards during the second session. The incident forced the Sirromet Wines Commodore out of the session while repairs were made to the car. Morris said the car would be fully repaired for qualifying tomorrow.
Morris' encouraging performances followed a series of frustrations this year with mechanical problems, and being eliminated from two championship rounds in pre-qualifying. He had begun the season with high expectations after breaking through for his first V8 Supercar round win at Calder Park in 2001.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "Today we ran on the same tyres we used in the last race at Winton, so there's more time to come once we put fresh rubber on the car for qualifying tomorrow. I'm happy with the speed in the car. The test we did over two days here (Queensland Raceway) was very productive and now we're seeing the overall improvement in performance. Wayne (Wakefield) was going quick, but unfortunately he had a 'coming together' with (Steven) Richards. The damage to the car wasn't too bad, but it was enough to put us out for the rest of the session so we lost valuable track-time. The track has been dirty and dusty, but the grip will improve as more rubber goes down."
RESULTS -- Practice:
POS DRIVERS CAR TIME
1. Rick Kelly-Nathan Pretty Holden Young Lions Commodore 1:11.075
2. Mark Skaife-Jason Bright Holden Racing Team Commodore 1:11.146
3. Paul Morris-Wayne Wakefield Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 1:11.238
4. Brad Jones-John Bowe OzEmail Ford Falcon 1:11.338
5. David Besnard-Simon Wills Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon 1:11.364
6. Marcos Ambrose-Paul Weel Pirtek Racing Ford Falcon 1:11.477
7. Dale Brede-Simon Owen CAT Ford Falcon 1:11.517
8. Mark Larkham-Will Power Orrcon Ford Falcon 1:11.563
9. Anthony Tratt-Paul Stokell Toll Racing Ford Falcon 1:11.627
10. Greg Murphy-Todd Kelly Kmart Holden Commodore 1:11.650
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 8): Skaife 1,775, Bright 1,096, Murphy 1,002, Kelly 946, Ambrose 941, Richards 791, Lowndes 722, Tander 643, Besnard 619, Ingall 556. Other: Morris 170