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Morris 17th in V8 Supercar Championship

19/4/2005 14:10 (Press Release) - Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris holds 11th position in this year's V8 Supercar Championship after today's dramatic and rain-affected finish to the second round of the series in New Zealand.

The round was held on the 2.8km Pukekohe circuit south of Auckland and comprised a 36-lap race yesterday, and two further races today.

Morris finished ninth in yesterday's race, and was 19th in today's first race over 50-laps after his VZ Commodore was struck from behind under Safety Car conditions. He then finished 16th in today's second race, which was stopped because of crashes and then re-started on a wet track after rain.

The 37-year-old Queenslander scored 110 points in the round, and is now 11th in the series with an overall championship total of 218. Marcos Ambrose leads the championship with 366 points, while Greg Murphy, who won all three races at Pukekohe, is fifth on 273.

The incident involving Morris in today's opening race happened when he was in 10th position and driving under Safety Car conditions. A valve stem failure caused the right-front tyre on his car to shred, and it was struck from behind by the Holden Racing Team Commodore of Todd Kelly.

In the third and final race Morris made his compulsory pit-stop for tyres on lap 14 and resumed driving in 11th position. A shock-absorber problem forced him to make an unscheduled second pit-stop on the following lap and set back his prospects.

The third championship round will be at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth from May 6-8.

PAUL MORRIS QUOTES: "The shunt from behind happened when the tyre shredded after a valve stem problem. I was rolling around trying to get back to the pits there was a lot of smoke and then there was a big hit from behind. It wasn't something you expect when the Safety Car is circulating. The fuel tank and rear panels were damaged. I was able to get going again, but I had fuel surging problems for the rest of the race. I thought we were looking good in the last race when I made the pit-stop with the Safety Car on the track. Unfortunately the right-rear 'shock' failed so I had to come back into the pits again. Then the rain came and it was slippery for a couple of laps. After the re-start it didn't rain again and the grip was okay. A lot of things went wrong this weekend, but my team never panicked at all. Everyone did their job and we ended up getting some half-decent championship points."

RESULTS RACE 2 (50 laps):
POS DRIVER CAR TIME
1. Greg Murphy Super Cheap Auto Holden Commodore 52:43.973
2. Russell Ingall Caltex Ford Falcon 52:44.740
3. Marcos Ambrose Pirtek Ford Falcon 52:49.283
4. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Commodore 52:55.488
5. Craig Lowndes Betta Electrical Ford Falcon 52:57.254
6. Paul Radisich Team Kiwi Holden Commodore 52:58.066
7. Steve Ellery Betta Electrical Ford Falcon 52:58.620
8. Steven Richards Team Perkins Holden Commodore 52:59.354
9. Paul Weel Super Cheap Auto Holden Commodore 53:02.559
10. John Bowe BOC Ford Falcon 53:08.322
OTHER:
19. Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 53:31.535
FASTEST LAP: Murphy 56.295-secs

RESULTS RACE 3 (47 laps):
POS DRIVER CAR TIME
1. Greg Murphy Super Cheap Auto Holden Commodore 1:29:16.468
2. Russell Ingall Caltex Ford Falcon 1:29:17.228
3. Steven Richards Team Perkins Holden Commodore 1:29:18.250
4. Marcos Ambrose Pirtek Ford Falcon 1:29:18.917
5. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Commodore 1:29:22.524
6. Paul Radisich Team Kiwi Holden Commodore 1:29:29.960
7. Jason Bright Ford Performance Racing Falcon 1:29:30.099
8. John Bowe BOC Ford Falcon 1:29:30.660
9. Garth Tander HSV Dealer Team Holden Commodore 1:29:35.773
10. Paul Weel Super Cheap Auto Holden Commodore 1:29:36.278
OTHER:
16. Paul Morris Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore 1:29:55.823
FASTEST LAP: Skaife 56.242-secs

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 2): Ambrose 366, Ingall 324, Weel 279, Lowndes 277, Murphy 273, Skaife 264, Radisich 261, Bright 256, T. Kelly 252, S. Richards 225, Morris 218, Seton 204


Release Date: 17/04/2005

Sirromet Wines - PMM