Veteran racer Paul Morris has been one of the busiest racers in Australasia this year.
The Gold Coast hellraiser last week limbered up for his 44th race meeting by rolling out his two-seater sprint car at Archerfield Speedway a few days before co-driving with Scott Pye in the Sargent Security Commodore at the Armor All Gold Coast 600.
While many of the drivers were required to attend an official welcome party ahead of the final leg of the Pirtek Enduro Cup at the QT Hotel, Morris was getting down and dirty at Archerfield.
Morris presented his two-seater Sprintcar for a ride night with paying punters and some of his V8 Supercar buddies including his long distance team-mate Pye, Dean Fiore and US-based Kiwi Matt Halliday.
Also tagging along for a ride in the backseat was Australia's most successful speedway rider, Jason Crump, the three-times world champion who retired from the sport after a glittering career last year.
“I can't think of anything better to do. In the off-season this is what it's about. In the dead-time over summer you can only ride your pushbike and drink coffee so much so you may as well go out and do some racing,” Morris said.
“It's good to show those (V8 drivers) what Sprintcar racing is all about and it just blows their minds.
“Crumpy really picked up on the technical aspect on where we positioned the car and where we got the most grip.
“Dean Fiore was trying to work out how fast it was going and it was good to take Scotty Pye, my team-mate at Bathurst, for a run as well and show what an old boy can do.”
Fiore stepped into the driver's seat for a spin around the track, easing into the action and rolling out some impressive lap pace toward the end of his run.
“The ride to start was incredible. Just the amount of G-forces it pulled it blew me away. To watch it was totally different to being in the passenger seat,” Fiore said.
“Then to actually drive it was incredible. I've been told so many times by the Dude to come out and give it a spin and I'm so glad I did.
“The Dude talked me through it and he just told be to keep a constant throttle most of the time to get used to it because the dynamics are so different to what I'm used to.”
In August Morris drew plenty of attention when he had a crack at his first Knoxville Nationals in the US, the unofficial world championship of Sprintcar racing.
With the top 50 qualifiers advancing to the heats Morris was 51st, only one-tenth from securing a spot.
“The first night we had some big names come up to us and people saying: “hey aren't you those V8 Supercar guys from Australia?” and they made us feel welcome.
“I ended up doing four nights of racing and improved my driving a hell of a lot.”
See below vision and interviews of the two-seater Sprintcar