Paul Morris finishes on podium in Bathurst 24-hour motor race Gold Coast-based V8 Supercar driver Paul Morris overcame heavy rain and variable weather conditions to finish third in a Porsche in the Bathurst 24-hour endurance motor race at Mount...
Paul Morris finishes on podium in Bathurst 24-hour motor race
Gold Coast-based V8 Supercar driver Paul Morris overcame heavy rain and variable weather conditions to finish third in a Porsche in the Bathurst 24-hour endurance motor race at Mount Panorama, which finished today.
Morris, who will drive a Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore in next weekend's final round of this year's V8 Supercar Championship at Eastern Creek in Sydney, contested the Bathurst race in a Porsche 911 GT3 RC sharing driving stints with Peter Fitzgerald, Scott Shearman, and John Teulan.
They completed 515 laps around the 6.2km circuit, covering a total distance 3,193km in variable conditions over the 24 hours of racing. There were 12 Safety Car periods during the race, two of them when the track was struck by heavy rain storms. The first downpour occurred about an hour after the start and the other was during the night section.
A Holden Monaro CV8 raced by nine-times Bathurst 1000 champion Peter Brock, and V8 Supercar drivers Greg Murphy, Jason Bright, and Todd Kelly won the event by completing 527 laps. Murphy, who drove the final stint, finished just 0.351-secs clear of another Monaro driven by Garth Tander, Steven Richards, Cameron McConville and Nathan Pretty.
Morris drove the opening stint in the Porsche and the car was in fourth position for most of the opening 12 hours. In the 14th hour the team moved up a position when the Ferrari spearheaded by David Brabham, which had been third behind the two Monaros, spun on oil and retired after completing 287 laps.
For the remainder of the race Morris and his team-mates battled for the final podium position with the Porsche 996 GT entered by Germany's Jurgen Alzen Motorsport. Morris, Fitzgerald, Shearman, and Teulan were a lap ahead of their Porsche rivals at the finish. Morris drove the maximum nine hours, the most allowed for competitors, in five stints. His best lap time was 2-mins 17.238-secs.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "I was in the car at night when the big storm came in. The weather was the worst I've ever seen. There was virtually no visibility and about 80-percent of the track was flooded. Around Forest Elbow was the worst part -- it was really hard keeping the car on the road because one moment you would have grip and then you'd be sliding. There's a fair bit of luck in those situations because anything can happen, but thankfully we came through without hitting any of the concrete walls. I had some long stints, but the Porsche is a nice car to drive. It's not hard on the driver, so I was able to do consistent lap times. We didn't have the speed of the Monaros, but to finish third ahead of all the other Porsches and cars from Europe was a great result for the team. The only problem we had was a seat belt mounting came loose, and it cost us a lap against the German Porsche we were racing for third. They had a go at us, so I stuck my head down and got the lap back. We had to put a 'splash' of fuel in the car near the end, and that got us home. Physically I felt fine afterwards, although I'm a little tired from lack of sleep. This race was something different to what I usually do and I've got to thank John Teulan the car owner for putting such a good team together."