Paul Morris to be sponsored by Sirromet Wines in 2002 V8 Supercar THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21: Queensland-based Sirromet Wines will celebrate breaking through 1-million bottles in annual production for the first time this year by sponsoring Paul...
Paul Morris to be sponsored by Sirromet Wines in 2002 V8 Supercar
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21: Queensland-based Sirromet Wines will celebrate breaking through 1-million bottles in annual production for the first time this year by sponsoring Paul Morris in the 2002 V8 Supercar motor racing season.
The 34-year-old Gold Coast owner/driver of Paul Morris Motorsports will debut his VX Holden Commodore in Sirromet Wines livery in V8 Supercar support races at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne from March 1-3.
Morris will then contest the 13-round V8 Supercar championship, which starts with the Clipsal 500 on March 15-17 in Adelaide where he will race a newly-built VX Commodore for the first time, and includes the 1000km event at Bathurst in October.
The sponsorship was announced today by Sirromet Wines Chief Executive Adam Chapman at the Holden Performance Driving Centre on the Gold Coast, where Morris' team is based, at a launch attended by guests including Australia's five-times 500cc motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan and Tony Cochrane from V8 Supercar controlling body AVESCO.
Sirromet Wines, based south-east of Brisbane, opened in 2000, and Chapman said production would double to approximately 1.2-million bottles this year from 600,000 bottles in 2001.
Chapman said the national television coverage of all V8 Supercar races and on-site exposure from events in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, West Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and Northern Territory would be an important part of Sirromet Wines' marketing strategy for future growth.
"We have quickly become Queensland's biggest winery, and securing naming-rights sponsorship of Paul's Commodore will give us a tremendous vehicle to promote our range of wines, both on television and to fans at the various race-tracks around the country," said Chapman.
"Paul is fresh from his first V8 Supercar win last year, and he's heading for bigger and better things so we are coming on board at just the right time."
"This is the first time a winery has had such a large sponsorship in V8 Supercars, and if, for example, we were to win at Bathurst it would uncork promotional opportunities that would make us the envy of everyone else in our industry."
Morris, who won two V8 Supercar races on the way to claiming his first round victory in the category at Calder Park in Melbourne in 2001, said he was determined to be competitive in his debut in Sirromet Wines colours in the non-championship races on the Albert Park street circuit.
However, he said his team would also be concentrating on evaluating the new Dunlop control tyres in preparation for the V8 Supercar championship.
"There's always a big crowd at the grand prix and Melbourne people like their food and wine, so it's a good place to have our first race with the new sponsorship," said Morris. "Our car looks spectacular and hopefully we can get some good results."
"At the same time it's important to see how the new (Dunlop) tyres work under race conditions and work on improving the car set-up so we're right on the pace for the start of the championship in Adelaide."
Morris, a four-times Australian Super Touring Champion, previously won races at Albert Park in works BMWs before his team switched to V8 Supercars in 2000.
"Like all street circuits Albert Park is slippery for the first day or two, because most of it is usually used as a normal road," he said. "However, once the Formula One cars put down more rubber the grip improves for everyone -- you've got keep changing the car to suit the track conditions."
Morris said his victory at Calder Park in 2001 had provided his team, which expanded to 18 fulltime personal in the off-season, with the impetus to be consistently competitive this year.
"We've proved we can win so now we've got to do it more often," he said. "Winning championships is all about consistency -- you've got to be able to run with the front group regularly, regardless of the conditions and circumstances. That's what we're aiming to do to take another step forward."
The VX Commodore Morris will race at Albert Park was his team's first in-house built V8 Supercar, which he drove during the closing stages of the 2001 championship.
Work on the team's second in-house built Commodore, which Morris will debut in Adelaide in the championship opener, commenced five months ago utilising an 800-square-metre working facility with fabrication area with flat plate, machine shop with CNC lathe and mill, network computer system, engine room and dyno, offices for technical engineers to draw and design.
After Morris drives the team's first in-house built car at Albert Park, it will be later be raced by New Zealand's Ashley Stichbury in the five-round V8 Konica Series, which starts at Wakefield Park in Goulburn from March 30-31.
Stichbury and Morris will team up for the endurance races toward the end of the championship, the Queensland 500 at Willowbank from September 13-15, and the V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst's Mount Panorama circuit from October 10-13.
Greg Wooster, a foundation member of Paul Morris Motorsports when it was established in 1999, will be team manager in 2002. The chief engine builder is Arch McMurray, another foundation team member.
Other sponsors for Paul Morris Motorsport in 2002 are BOC Gases, PPG, CRC, Castrol, Kings Springs, AusCAD, Loctite, Scott, and Sparco.
Sirromet Wines Website: www.sirromet.com