THE ONLY man to win Bathurst’s three majors – the Bathurst 1000, Bathurst 6 Hour and Bathurst 12 Hour – will be an addition to the 2018 12-hour grid.
Paul Morris will join signings Grant Denyer and Garry Jacobson as late additions amongst the MARC Cars Australia squad in the Invitational class this weekend.
Morris will jump into the No. 54 car with Tony Alford, Kyle Alford and Chad Parrish, while Denyer and Super2 Series front runner Jacobson will join young-gun Tyler Everingham in the No. 94 car. Former BTCC driver James Kaye will miss the event due to business commitments in the UK.
Morris has been a hands-on participant in the MARC Cars program, with the team based out of his Norwell driver training facility.
The Queenslander won the Bathurst 1000 in 2014 with Chaz Mostert, backing up his pair of Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour achieved with Garry Holt’s BMW team in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
He then teamed with Luke Searle to win the Bathurst 6 Hour Production Car race last Easter, also driving a BMW.
Morris also won the 2017 Stadium SuperTrucks Championship across a series of races in Australia and overseas.
“I’m always excited to get back there,” Morris said of Mount Panorama.
“Winning the 6-hour made the other wins there a bit more significant and where ever I go in the world now that’s how people talking about me, which is pretty interesting in the twilight of my career.
“It’s exciting to be going there in the new car. It’s amazing how that program has developed from racing an Astra to the MARC I and now MARC II cars. What Ryan (McLeod) has come up with is a pretty amazing bit of kit.
“To drive they are every bit as good as a GT car – and perhaps a little bit better. The corner speeds are not quite so high and the braking not so intense but they’ve got more straight line handling.
“For the gentleman driver and blokes my age, you can still get a lap time which is pretty good.”
Morris, renowned in the sport for his experience in calling strategy for long-distance racing, said his crew were working to a plan for the week ahead.
“We don’t have to go fast until Sunday,” he explained.
“We have a plan and we’ll just build up to it. I’ve had a reasonable amount of running in the car, I drove it at night during the shakedown and then a fair bit of running at Norwell. They guys are all driving well so we’ll see how it goes.”
Team owner Ryan McLeod said adding the experience of Morris would be a huge benefit to the squad.
“Paul brings a huge amount of experience to the team and will be a huge asset as we work on developing the new MARC II cars this weekend,” Team owner Ryan McLeod said.
“He’s been helping the boys come to grips with them at Norwell and it will be a huge boost to have him with us this weekend.
“Grant and Garry drove together with us in 2014 and they both love driving the cars. They’ve got a huge amount of experience at Mount Panorama and will be strong. They are all great additions to what is already a very exciting week for us.”
Tickets remain available for the event, with race day General Admission tickets priced from just $46, including free access to the paddock area.
Photo: Matthew Paul Photography.