Paul Morris Motorsport

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Paul Morris Motorsport
Manufacturer Ford
BMW
Holden
Team Principal Paul Morris
Race Drivers Tony Longhurst (1988-94)
Tomas Mezera (1988)
Neville Crichton (1989, 1990)
Denny Hulme (1989-92)
Alan Jones (1989-92)
Mark McLaughlin (1990)
Peter Fitzgerald (1991, 1993)
Paul Morris (1992-2014)
Johnny Cecotto (1992)
John Blanchard (1993-94)
Geoff Full (1993)
Steve Soper (1993)
Joachim Winkelhock (1993)
Charlie O'Brien (1994-96)
Geoff Brabham (1995-97)
Craig Baird (1997)
Matt Neal (2000, 2008)
Kevin Schwantz (2000)
Owen Kelly (2000, 2007, 2009)
Aaron McGill (2000)
Ashley Stitchbury (2001)
Wayne Wakefield (2002)
John Faulkner (2003)
Alan Gurr (2004, 2006)
Paul Radisich (2005)
Fabian Coulthard (2006-07)
Steve Ellery (2006-07)
Russell Ingall (2008-11)
Boris Said (2008, 2011, 2012)
Tim Slade (2009)
Greg Murphy 2010
Tim Blanchard (2010)
Allan Simonsen (2010)
Yvan Muller (2010)
Jack Perkins (2010-11)
Steve Owen (2011-12)
Jan Magnussen (2011)
Chassis Ford Sierra RS500
BMW M3
BMW 320i
Holden Commodore VP
Holden Commodore VS
Holden Commodore VT
Holden Commodore VX
Holden Commodore VY
Holden Commodore VZ
Holden Commodore VE
Ford Falcon FG
Debut 1988

Paul Morris Motorsport[1] is an Australian motor racing team that competed in Australian touring car racing between 1988 and 2012.

History[edit]

At the end of 1987 Frank Gardner closed his JPS Team BMW operation, having decided to retire after a period of ill health. Lead driver Jim Richards and the BMW M3s moved to Peter Brock's Mobil 1 Racing team.

For 1988, Tony Longhurst who had raced the second JPS BMW M3, formed his own team on the Gold Coast. A Ford Sierra RS500 was built with Gardner bringing the contract he still held with Amatil. The car competed in the 1988 Australian Touring Car Championship with Freeport cigarettes branding.

Gardner had led the successful protest against the factory-backed Eggenberger Motorsport Ford Sierras at the 1987 Bathurst 1000 which had ultimately cost the Ford the World Touring Car Championship. This made it difficult for the team to source components through Ford in Europe, with endurance co-driver Tomas Mezera who was based in London at the time, trying to source components. Gardner was listed as a consultant, but as the season progressed assumed the team manager's role and would become a shareholder.

Longhurst would finish the championship in fifth position, finishing only four of the nine rounds including a win at Lakeside. From the Sandown 500, Amatil's Benson & Hedges brand was applied, Longhurst and Mezera going on to win the Bathurst 1000.[2]

In 1989, the team expanded to two cars with Neville Crichton driving a second Sierra.[3] In 1990, Alan Jones replaced Crichton in the second car.[4] In 1991, the team became the BMW factory team, acquiring a pair of ex Schnitzer Motorsport BMW M3s.[5] In 1992, a third M3 was entered at selected events for Paul Morris whose father Terry would become a shareholder in the team.[6]

In 1990, Gardner established a Performance Driving Centre at Norwell with the team's workshop incorporated.[7]

In 1993, the team expanded to field four M3s, with John Blanchard replacing Alan Jones in the second Benson & Hedges car, and Paul Morris and Geoff Full racing with Diet Coke sponsorship.[8] In 1994, the team committed to race in the Australian 2 litre Championship with a pair of BMW 320is. However, with the series at one stage in doubt, and a desire by sponsors to retain a presence in the country's main category, two Perkins Engineering built Holden Commodore VPs were purchased with Longhurst and Morris racing in both the 2-litre 5-litre series.[9]

Lonhurst and Morris would make worldwide headlines after colliding on the pit straight at Winton. Longhurst blamed Morris for the crash which put both cars into the concrete wall and famously punched Morris through Morris's drivers side window.[10]

Longhurst wished to continue in the V8 Supercar series while Gardner and Morris wanted to stick with Super Touring. At the end of 1994, Gardner and Morris bought Longhurst out, with the latter forming Longhurst Racing to race a Ford Falcon EF in the 5 litre series.[11]

With the team's tobacco sponsorship not able to be renewed by the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992, the Benson & Hedges sponsorship concluded at the end of 1994. For the next three years, the team competed in the Australian Super Touring Championship with Geoff Brabham and Paul Morris driving BMW 320is. Morris won the series in 1995 and 1997, while Brabham teamed with brother David to win the 1997 Bathurst 1000.[12] A third car was entered at some events in 1995 and 1996 for Charlie O'Brien and in 1997 for Craig Baird.

At the end of 1997, BMW withdrew their support and the team closed. Gardner retired and sold the Performance Driving Centre to Morris. After racing for PacWest Racing in the Indy Lights Championship in 1998, Morris reformed the team racing a BMW 320i to victory in the 1999 Australian Super Touring Championship.

Morris entered the V8 Supercar series in 2000 with an ex Holden Racing Team Commodore VS, with a Commodore VT purchased later in the year from James Rosenberg Racing.[13][14]

In 2001, the team completed its first in-house built Commodore VX.[14][15] The team generally raced one car until 2005, when it began preparing the Team Kiwi Racing car under a customer deal. In 2006, after purchasing a Level 1 licence from Tony Longhurst, it expanded to two cars with Fabian Coulthard, Alan Gurr, Steven Ellery, Jack Perkins and Shane Price driving the #39 car.[16] In 2007, Coulthard, Ellery and Owen Kelly drove the second car.[17]

In 2008, Russell Ingall joined as the driver of the second car bringing title sponsorship from Supercheap Auto. At the end of the year, Morris retired and was replaced by Tim Slade in a deal brokered by former V8 Supercar team owner James Rosenberg, who also took on ownership of Slade's car.[14]

In 2010, Greg Murphy replaced Tim Slade.[18][19] The team moved away from self-built cars, buying two Triple Eight Race Engineering Commodore VEs.[20]

In 2011, Murphy was replaced by Steve Owen.[21] With Ingall and Supercheap departing at the end of 2011, one REC was leased to Tekno Autosports while preparation of the remaining car was contracted to Dick Johnson Racing. The team's two Commodore VEs also passed to Tekno in exchange for a Ford Falcon FG.[14]

In 2013, the remaining REC was sold to Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.[22] At the end of the year, the leased REC was returned from Tekno Autosports and sold to Dick Johnson Racing.[14]

Although no longer competing in the V8 Supercar series, Paul Morris Motorsport prepares cars for the Development Series. with four cars being entered in 2015.[23]

Morris also continues to operate the Holden Driving Centre.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Securities & Investments Commission extract company no 010 769 052 Nemo Racing Pty Ltd formerly Frank Gardner Racing Pty Ltd formerly Logamo Pty Ltd formerly Tony Longhurst Racing Pty Ltd
  2. ^ Normoyle, Steve (1989). The Great Race 8. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  3. ^ Normoyle, Steve (1990). The Great Race 9. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  4. ^ Normoyle, Steve (1991). The Great Race 10. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  5. ^ Normoyle, Steve (1992). The Great Race 11. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  6. ^ Normoyle, Steve (1993). The Great Race 12. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  7. ^ Introducing The Performance Driving Centre The Performance Driving Centre
  8. ^ Normoyle, Steve (1994). The Great Race 13. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  9. ^ Normoyle, Steve (1995). The Great Race 14. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  10. ^ You Tube clip
  11. ^ Normoyle, Steve (1995). The Great Race 15. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  12. ^ Normoyle, Steve (1997). The Great Race 17. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  13. ^ Normoyle, Steve (2000). The Great Race 20. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  14. ^ a b c d e REC sale the end of an era for Paul Morris Speedcafe 4 December 2013
  15. ^ Normoyle, Steve (2001). The Great Race 21. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  16. ^ Normoyle, Steve (2006). The Great Race 26. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  17. ^ Normoyle, Steve (2007). The Great Race 27. Hornsby: Chevron Publishing. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  18. ^ "Murph confirmed as PMM driver". Official site of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  19. ^ Murphy confirmed as Castrol driver at PMM Speedcafe 17 December 2008
  20. ^ PMM to benefit from transition phase Speedcafe 23 February 2010
  21. ^ "Biggest opportunity of my career: Owen". Speedcafe. 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  22. ^ Lucas Dumbrell set to buy second V8 licence Speedcafe 18 November 2012
  23. ^ Paul Morris to field Gracie in Dunlop Series Speedcafe 19 November 2014
  24. ^ Home Holden Driving Centre