Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris improved 10 positions from qualifying to finish 20th in today's first race of the 11th round of the V8 Supercar Championship on the Gold Coast. Morris, who qualified 30th yesterday, completed...
Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris improved 10 positions from qualifying to finish 20th in today's first race of the 11th round of the V8 Supercar Championship on the Gold Coast.
Morris, who qualified 30th yesterday, completed the 22-lap race in a time of 45-mins 3.631-secs in his VY Commodore fitted with a Holden Motorsport engine. Russell Ingall won the event in a Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon in 44-mins 8.828-secs, followed by Greg Murphy in a Kmart Commodore.
The Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge will conclude tomorrow with a second race over 22 laps on the 4.5km Surfers Paradise street circuit, and will be followed by the Lexmark Indy 300 Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART event).
Morris was 28th after the opening lap of today's race, but improved to 11th in the early stages when many of the front-running cars chose to make their compulsory pit-stop to change tyres under Safety Car conditions.
Once Morris made his pit-stop he dropped back to 24th, and lost further time when he temporarily drove off the circuit at the end of the main straight. The 35-year-old Gold Coast driver improved to 21st and held the position for a lengthy period until moving up to 20th in the closing laps. His best lap time in the race was 1-min 54.181-secs.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "I went off the track at the ANA (Hotel) corner after locking the brakes. Luckily I kept the car off the concrete and was able to get going again. We made some changes to the car from yesterday -- it was better in some places and worse in others. I was trying as hard as I could and if I'd tried to go any faster I would have gone off again. We would like to be further up the front this weekend, but at least we came away with some points. A lot of the cars that were quicker in qualifying came back to our pace in the race and that helped me hold track position. The game plan tomorrow is to try and keep moving up and get some more points. I think some of the set-up problems we're having can be traced back to us not racing here last year."
<pre> RESULTS -- Race 1 (22 laps): POS DRIVERS CAR TIME 1. Russell Ingall Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon 44:08.828 2. Greg Murphy Kmart Holden Commodore 44:11.703 3. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Commodore 44:16.591 4. Jason Bright Team Brock Holden Commodore 44:18.154 5. Rick Kelly Kmart Holden Commodore 44:22.344 6. Marcos Ambrose Pirtek Ford Falcon 44:24.974 7. David Besnard Ford Performance Racing Falcon 44:31.669 8. Steven Johnson Shell Helix Ford Falcon 44:34.871 9. Max Wilson Shell Helix Ford Falcon 44:36.186 10. Todd Kelly Holden Racing Team Commodore 44:36.338 OTHER: 20. Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 45:03.631 FASTEST LAP: Ingall 1-min 52.297-secs
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 11 -- Race 1): Ambrose 1,780; Murphy 1,702; Ingall 1,607; Skaife 1,591; Lowndes 1,468; Bright 1,438; Rick Kelly 1,412; Steven Richards 1,404; Todd Kelly 1,339; Tander 1,297. Other: Morris 806