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Sitting behind the wheel of his garish yellow and orange Commodore, clad in a bright orange suit and Hawaiian-inspired floral helmet, Paul Morris was a sight for sore eyes in season 2001.
The flamboyant Big “I’m excited!” Kev outfit breathed new life into the V8 Supercar paddock when Morris rejoined the V8 series full-time in 2000. Racing should be fun, he insists, despite the ruthlessness of competition and inherent danger.
But don’t be fooled by the casual exterior. ‘The Dude’, as he is known, takes his racing very seriously. He’s here to win – not to look pretty.
Morris’ V8 Supercar scheme was always an ambitious one. And his capable Gold Coast-based NEMO Racing garage quickly learned just how steep the learning curve would be.
In the two-litre class, Morris was the commanding force for a number of years. He has four Super Touring crowns to his name since his first in 1995, remaining loyal to the beleaguered category to be its biggest drawcard over recent years.
Initially running Holden Racing Team hand-me-downs, Morris quickly found himself hovering around the V8 Supercar top ten. But remaining there hasn’t been easy.
At Calder Park Raceway last year, aboard one of the oldest cars in the fleet, Morris caused the biggest upset of the year to claim the round winners’ wreath. It was an emotional triumph over adversity, and instilled the confidence needed within Morris’ modest team to race for more silverware.
He has his own car now, a VX Commodore, with a new attractive paint job, new major sponsor in local winery Sirromet, and will again be a worthy opponent for the V8 ‘super-teams’ in 2002.