Morris says tyre wear will be critical Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris believes tyre wear on the abrasive track surface at Barbagallo Raceway near Perth will be critical in the outcome of this weekend's fifth round of the V8...
Morris says tyre wear will be critical
Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris believes tyre wear on the abrasive track surface at Barbagallo Raceway near Perth will be critical in the outcome of this weekend's fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship.
The West Australian round of the series comprises a 100km race on Saturday, and two further races over the same distance the following day.
Morris, who qualified third at Barbagallo in 2001 and finished 10th overall 12 months ago, said the surface on the undulating 2.4km track placed more stress on the Dunlop control tyre compared to most other venues in the 13-round series.
"Our control tyres are very durable, but the abrasive track surface at Barbagallo can be a problem if you haven't got a good car set-up," said Morris.
"Sometimes the sand gets blown onto the track and that makes it even harder on the tyres. Usually we see a lot of cars struggling for grip, so I'd expect the teams who can make their tyres last the distance this weekend are going to get the best results."
The 35-year-old Gold Coast driver and team owner said the layout at Barbagallo was one of the most challenging in the championship.
"It's got some 'up-and-down' sections, and plenty of passing places," he said. "Usually I've been competitive at Barbagallo -- last year we were looking good for a top five finish until I was taken out near the end of the second race."
Morris believes his team, which is located at the Holden Performance Driving Centre, is gaining momentum as the season progresses, evidenced by consistent form in his VY Commodore in the 300km races in the previous three rounds.
He finished 11th in round two at Phillip Island in Victoria, 10th at Eastern Creek in Sydney, and qualified seventh and held eighth position at Winton in Victoria until being forced out by a puncture.
"We've definitely taken a step forward this year with car speed and reliability, and there's more to come in terms of performance," said Morris.
"After three 300km races it's going to be interesting going back to a sprint format this weekend. With three shorter races it will be very important to qualify at the 'pointy end' and get a good run through the first corner."
"We qualified inside the top 10 at Winton so that's the benchmark we have to set for ourselves this weekend."
Jason Bright leads the championship with 717 points, followed by fellow-Holden driver Steven Richards on 666, and Ford Falcon racer Russell Ingall on 633. Morris has 315 points.