Paul Morris takes lead late, wins SST Darwin Race 1

Paul Morris continued his winning ways in the Boost Mobile Super Trucks when he took the lead from Greg Gartner late in Saturday’s opening race of the Darwin Triple Crown to score his third victory in 2021.

Morris was the second-fastest driver in qualifying earlier in the day behind Shae Davies, which placed both drivers at the back. His son Nash Morris started on the front row alongside Dave Casey.

The younger Morris, making his official Stadium Super Truck début after being sidelined by injury at Tasmania two months prior, led the opening lap. Gartner moved up to second shortly after lap two began, and Paul Morris joined him on the podium when the competition caution came out on lap three.

A strong run enabled Gartner to take the lead as the race resumed, and the older Morris overtook his son on lap six with Davies in tow. Later in the lap, Paul Weel—who had lost his hood—flipped multiple times into the grass after getting sideways on a ramp. Although he was able to keep driving back to the pits, the wreck ended his day. Russell Ingall also retired from the race. The second competition yellow flag waved shortly after.

Gartner continued to lead at the green flag before being passed by the faster Morris on the final lap. He would not catch Morris as the 2017 champion drove off to his sixth career win and third at Darwin. Morris had won two of three races in SST’s first trip to Hidden Valley Raceway in 2017; he and Gartner both participated in that race weekend.

Despite having to settle for second, the finish marked Gartner’s first career podium and a two-position improvement over his previous best at Valvoline Raceway in 2015 and Adelaide last year. Davies took third, meaning he has finished on each step of the podium in 2021 with a second and win at Tasmania; he is the only other driver besides Morris to win so far this season.

“Neck hurts after that one… but the beers are cold,” remarked Davies in an Instagram Story. During the race, he entered a jump with just his left-side tyres on the ramp, nearly resulting in a flip off course but he was able to safely land on four wheels.

Two more races are scheduled for Sunday at 10:10 AM and 1:25 PM ACST.

Race results

Finish Number Driver Laps Completed Status
1 67 Paul Morris 9 Running
2 410 Greg Gartner 9 Running
3 88 Shae Davies 9 Running
4 70 Trav Milburn 9 Running
5 94 Nash Morris 9 Running
6 11 Rob Whyte 9 Running
7 12 Shaun Richardson 9 Running
8 121 Dave Casey 9 Running
9 50 Paul Weel 6 DNF
10 39 Russell Ingall 6 DNF

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