Paul Morris names new driver for Bathurst

Queensland'a Paul Morris has changed co-drivers for his Big Kev Commodore on the eve of this weekend's V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst. Morris has replaced English driver Matt Neal with New Zealand TransAm competitor Ashley Stichbury for the annual ...

Paul Morris names new driver for Bathurst

Queensland'a Paul Morris has changed co-drivers for his Big Kev Commodore on the eve of this weekend's V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst.

Morris has replaced English driver Matt Neal with New Zealand TransAm competitor Ashley Stichbury for the annual 1000km enduro, which gets underway with practice sessions on Thursday.

Neal drives a Nissan in the European Touring Car Championship and his team was not prepared to release him for Bathurst because of uncertainly with international flights and the tension surrounding the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.

Neal is required to race in Belgium the week after the V8 Supercar 1000 after competing in Spain yesterday.

Stichbury will have a decent warm-up to Sunday's race when he drives an old VS Big Kev Commodore in the 30-lap Konica race on Saturday. The VS Commodore has not been raced since the support races at last year's Honda Indy 300 on the Gold Coast.

"We were looking forward to racing with Matt at Bathurst, but unfortunately that won't be the case," said Morris. "Ashley tested with us at through the year with the idea of us running him in Konica V8 Supercar Series next season. "We tested him again last Thursday when these problems arose with Matt and his times at Queensland Raceway were very impressive. "In fact, his times compared with the winners of the Queensland 500 last month."

Stichbury came through the New Zealand motorsport ranks and currently drives for Mark Petch Motorsport in the New Zealand TransAm Championship. Morris raced again Stichbury in the 96-97 New Zealand Series.

Petch has his own history in this country having won the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship with Robbie Francevic in a Volvo in 1986.

Stichbury will not go to Bathurst as a rookie, as he replaced an ill Kevin Waldock at the last minute in the mid 90s.

"I guess this is the ultimate case of being in the right place at the right time," said Stichbury. "I have to thank Paul and the Big Kev team for the opportunity. "Hopefully this will be the break in my career I have been waiting for. "I just want to keep the car straight and produce consistent lap times in an effort to get Paul as many championship points as possible."

Neal did not start the season on a great note when he virtually destroyed a brand new Big Kev Commodore in practice for the eighth round of the Shell Championship Series at Oran Park at the end of July.

The car was only a handful of laps old when Neal put it into the wall at the entrance to the main straight. That car has been salvaged, but will not be run this weekend.

"We will be running the VT Commodore we have run all year. It's the same car we won the Calder Park round win in July," said Morris. "We have got the new car back together, but there are some systems on it we are not confident of running for 1000km at Bathurst. "Despite an older car we are heading to Bathurst with a very competitive package."

Practice for this year's V8 Supercar 1000 begins on Thursday with Sunday's race commencing at 10am.

TICKET PRICES Adults - GA Season - (Thurs-Sun): Advance $85.00 Gate $90.00 Weekend: Advance $75.00 Gate $80.00 Sunday: Advance $55.00 Gate $60.00 Concession GA - Outer Circuit Only Season (Thurs-Sun): Advance $70.00 Gate $75.00 Weekend: Advance $60.00 Gate $65.00 Sunday: Advance $45.00 Gate $50.00 Grandstand Outer Circuit: Advance $155.00 Gate $160.00 Paddock Passes Paddock passes are valid for all four days of the V8 Supercar 1000. They must be purchased in addition to a General Admission or Grandstand Ticket. Numbers limited. $30.00 (advance of at the gate)

Website: www.v8supercar1000.com Tickets: Available through Ticketmaster7 on 136 122, Ticketmaster7.com or at the gate.

TELEVISION TIMES Network Ten will be providing a massive 15 hours of nation-wide live coverage from Mt Panorama. It will also be televised live to New Zealand and Europe with a delayed telecast to North America and Asia. A total potential viewing for 400 million homes. Saturday's Network Ten telecast will be from Noon-5pm. Sunday's telecast will be from 7am-5pm.

-BAB-

shares
comments
Cat Racing Bathurst preview

Previous article

Cat Racing Bathurst preview

Next article

Bathurst record could fall

Bathurst record could fall
Load comments
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020