Paul Morris Bathurst Thursday report

Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris recovered from engine problems to charge into the top 10 in today's opening practice sessions for Sunday's Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar motor race. Morris clocked a best lap time...

Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris recovered from engine problems to charge into the top 10 in today's opening practice sessions for Sunday's Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar motor race.

Morris clocked a best lap time of 2-mins 10.497-secs around the 6.2km Mount Panorama circuit in fine conditions. The 35-year-old from Queensland's Gold Coast set the time on his 14th of 15 laps in the second of the two practice sessions, after a new set of Dunlop control tyres had been fitted to his VY Commodore.

In the opening session Morris completed only five laps before being forced off the track because of a distributor sensor problem. He took no further part in the session because the sensor could not be replaced in time.

Faulkner, making his 17th Bathurst 1000 start, did not drive in the opening session, and had five laps in the Commodore in the second session. Morris is contesting the Mount Panorama event for the 11th time, and his best previous result was third in 1999 with Mark Skaife.

New Zealand's Greg Murphy emerged fastest in practice today with a lap of 2-mins 8.328-secs, set in the second session in the Kmart Commodore he is sharing with Rick Kelly. David Besnard and Owen Kelly were second quickest in a Ford Performance Racing Falcon. Tomorrow's format comprises a practice session in the morning, and qualifying in the afternoon.

PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "After the dramas in the first session it was good to come back strongly and get into the top 10. I think we showed we're going to be competitive this weekend. Losing almost the whole first session has put us behind the eight-ball because at Bathurst both drivers need as much track time as possible. The engine had a misfire as I drove out of the pits the first time and we couldn't get going again before the session ended. So far we haven't made any set-up changes, but we will try some things in practice tomorrow. Today we were losing front-end grip in the slow corners and we need to have a look at that. John (Faulkner) only did a handful of laps, but he's showing good speed."

JOHN FAULKNER QUOTES: "In the short time I spent on the track I'd say we've got a pretty good race car. We are about half-a-day behind where we need to be, but I'm feeling comfortable and I know I can go quicker with some more laps in practice tomorrow and on Saturday. Here you need to build up to speed. The car has a good 'feel' and balance."

-pmr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Greg Murphy , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Paul Morris , Owen Kelly , Bob Jane