Paul Morris escapes injury in Melbourne

Morris escapes injury in $100,000 V8 Supercar crash. SUNDAY, MARCH 9: Gold Coast driver Paul Morris escaped serious injury in a spectacular crash which caused $100,000 damage to his Holden Commodore in today's third and final V8 Supercar support...

Morris escapes injury in $100,000 V8 Supercar crash.

SUNDAY, MARCH 9: Gold Coast driver Paul Morris escaped serious injury in a spectacular crash which caused $100,000 damage to his Holden Commodore in today's third and final V8 Supercar support race at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The 35-year-old slammed into a concrete barrier at approximately 180-km/h on the third lap of the Netspace V8 Supercar Showdown event, which was held on a wet and slippery Albert Park street circuit before the Formula One race.

Morris crashed when in ninth position moments after his Sirromet Wines VY Commodore made contact with the Castrol Perkins Holden driven by Paul Dumbrell. The Victorian had driven off the circuit and was returning to the track when he collided with Morris' car, which then spun around before hitting the barrier.

Immediately after the accident the race was stopped. Later Morris and Dumbrell attended a CAMS Stewards hearing about the incident. The results of the hearing have not yet been announced.

Both wheels of the left side of Morris' car were destroyed in the crash, along with the new double-wishbone front suspension and most other major front-end components.

Morris said that his team, which is located at the Holden Performance Driving Centre, would not be able to repair the car before the opening round of this year's V8 Supercar Championship, the Clipsal 500, in Adelaide, from March 21-23.

He said that he would drive a VX model Commodore in Adelaide, which he previously raced in the second half of the 2002 championship. He expects to debut an all-new VY Commodore in the second championship round at Phillip Island in Victoria from April 11-13.

Morris is returning to the Gold Coast later today. His damaged car was loaded onto his team's transporter soon after the race and is expected arrive back at the workshop on Tuesday after a two-day drive.

In the opening V8 Supercar event at Albert Park on Friday, Morris had finished 16th in his debut in the VY Commodore, which had been converted from a VX model. He was 15th in the second race yesterday. Jason Bright won the first race in a Betta Electrial Team Brock Commodore, and Russell Ingall was first in race two in a Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon.

PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "It was a big hit when I went into the wall, and it's a major set-back for the team. We've spent hundreds of hours building the VY (Commodore) in the last few months and now it's all wasted. Up until the crash we had been having a good weekend. We finished the first couple of races without any dramas and we had been collecting data and information to help with developing the car. The reliability had been excellent. When I was hit it was a surprise, because you don't expect that to happen when another car goes off the track and then comes back on. After that I was a passenger. The car spun around and I went into the wall. The impact ripped the front-left wheel off and I saw it flying through the air. It tweaked my neck a little, but apart from that I'm okay. The front-end of the car was destroyed. At this stage it's too early to know what the damage is to the engine, and some other things, but all up it's going to cost us around $100,000 to fix everything up. We were going to run the VY in Adelaide in a couple of weeks, but that's out of the question so we will go with the VX."

-www.paulmorris.com.au

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Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Bright , Paul Morris , Phillip Island