Queenslander Paul Morris damaged the front-end of his Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore at the Pukekohe circuit in New Zealand today before qualifying 22nd for tomorrow's first race in the 12th round of the V8 Supercar Championship. The...
Queenslander Paul Morris damaged the front-end of his Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore at the Pukekohe circuit in New Zealand today before qualifying 22nd for tomorrow's first race in the 12th round of the V8 Supercar Championship.
The 35-year-old from the Gold Coast clocked a best lap time of 57.450-secs around the 2.8km circuit in his VY Commodore, fitted with a Holden Motorsport engine. His time was 0.905-secs behind Greg Murphy, who claimed provisional pole position with the quickest lap of 56.545-secs in a Kmart Commodore.
Earlier in the day Morris was 17th in the opening practice session, and 13th in the second practice session, held in fine conditions. In the closing minutes of the second practice the radiator, front spoiler, and some suspension components on Morris' car were damaged when he slid off the track and cannoned into a ditch. The car was repaired before qualifying.
Tomorrow there will be a Top 10 Shoot Out to determine starting positions on the first five rows of the grid for the following opening race over 36 laps. The Pukekohe round will be completed with the two 54-lap races on Sunday. Marcos Ambrose, who leads the championship, qualified sixth.
PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "We're starting tomorrow's race further back than we'd hoped to be. After the second practice we were close to the top 10, and I thought my lap time would improve about half-a-second with new tyres on the car for qualifying. Unfortunately it didn't happen. We did go quicker, but not enough. In practice we ran 'old' tyres and worked away on the car set-up. Near the end of the second practice I ran the car wide at Turn Two and went onto the grass. The front hit a dip and went into a drain, which caused a fair bit of damage. We were able to fix things up before qualifying. My main problem is losing time over the bump in the track coming onto the main straight. It's picking up the rear of the car in the middle of the corner." <pre> RESULTS -- QUALIFYING:
POS DRIVERS CAR TIME 1. Greg Murphy Kmart Holden Commodore 56.545 2. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Commodore 56.569 3. Jason Bright Team Brock Holden Commodore 56.693 4. Max Wilson Shell Helix Ford Falcon 56.749 5. Craig Lowndes Ford Performance Racing Falcon 56.939 6. Marcos Ambrose Pirtek Ford Falcon 56.961 7. Garth Tander Valvoline Holden Commodore 57.001 8. Jason Bargwanna Orrcon Ford Falcon 57.041 9. Paul Radisich Betta Electrical Ford Falcon 57.080 10. Todd Kelly Holden Racing Team Commodore 57.103 OTHER: 22. Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 57.450