Morris supports extra 300km V8 Supercar races Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris today declared his support for the additional 300km races included in this year's V8 Supercar Championship, which continues at Eastern Creek in...
Morris supports extra 300km V8 Supercar races
Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris today declared his support for the additional 300km races included in this year's V8 Supercar Championship, which continues at Eastern Creek in Sydney this Sunday.
Eastern Creek is one of five rounds in the championship with a stand-alone 300km race format, compared to only one event of that distance in the 2002 series for Commodores and Ford Falcons.
The first of the 300km races in this year's 13-round championship was at Phillip Island in Victoria on April 13, and after Eastern Creek, the others will be at Winton in Victoria on May 25, Queensland Raceway near Ipswich on July 20, and Sydney's Oran Park on August 15.
Morris believes the 300km races, which in some instances have replaced sprint-round formats, provide a greater challenge for teams with strategy because of the compulsory pit-stops, and better entertainment for fans.
"If you look at Phillip Island there were four of five cars leading at various stages, because teams were on different strategies with their pit-stops so it's creating more variety for the fans," he said.
"I don't have a problem with three-race sprint rounds, but it's fair to say a lot of the time the car that comes out of the first corner in front is going to win."
"In these (300km) races you're going to see teams trying to out-smart each other with strategy, and there's certainly a lot more things to consider on how you approach a race weekend other than just car speed."
"At Phillip Island we were 23rd on the first lap, but mid-race we were third because we stayed out longer than some of the others. We took a punt on the weather turning bad, which it did, and if we hadn't been delayed in the pits we probably would have finished third at worst."
The 35-year-old from the Gold Coast will continue racing his VY Commodore at Eastern Creek, powered by a VX-specification 18-degree engine, and prepared at his team's base at the Holden Performance Driving Centre.
Morris said that the 300km races required a car set-up that was a compromise between outright speed and ensuring maximum tyre durability.
"In these races it's no use having the fastest car if it's only quick for a few laps," he said. "You need a set-up that's makes the car fast enough to be competitive, but also looks after the tyres so you can stay out and do a long stint if that's what's needed on the day."
Morris pin-pointed three sections of the 3.9km Eastern Creek circuit which he said created passing opportunities.
"If you get a good run onto the front straight you can go up the inside at Turn One, and other places for passing are Turn Two and Turn Four down the hill," he said.
Morris, who won the Calder Park championship round in 2001, goes to Eastern Creek with 177 championship points. Team Brock Commodore driver Jason Bright leads with 357 points, followed by defending champion Mark Skaife on 351 in a Holden Racing Team Commodore.