#DoningtonDecider: Morris not focusing on GT3 title chances

#DoningtonDecider: Morris not focusing on GT3 title chances

GT3 title contender Seb Morris says he’s more focused on enjoying his final British GT outing of the season than trying to win the championship at Donington Park this weekend.


The Welshman and Team Parker Racing co-driver Rick Parfitt Jnr are currently 27 points adrift of championship leaders Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen. That means the Bentley crew must win on Sunday, hope that Barwell’s duo finish no higher than seventh, and rely on Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam coming home fourth or lower to have any chance of pinching the crown.


Morris and Parfitt Jnr’s case is helped by 20 and 15-second pit-stop success penalties handicapping their main rivals, who will have no choice but to fight back through the field after the mandatory driver changes take place at half-distance in the two-hour encounter. 


However, Morris doesn’t think that will be a problem for either crew.


“We’re definitely the dark horses and you never know what might happen - just look at last season’s finale!” he said, referring to the championship leader crashing out in the early stages of last year’s deciding round. “But, really, Rick and I have accepted that the title has probably gone. We’ve said we just want to go and have fun, hopefully win the race and if things fall into place elsewhere then so be it. We can’t do any more than that.


“Obviously we’d love to win it but we can also be happy with the way this year has panned out. Rick was coming off the back of a tough season and, personally, I think it’s the best I’ve ever driven. The transition from single-seaters to GTs has gone pretty well; it’s nice to have a few good results under my belt so soon.”


Morris has been one of the championship’s fastest GT3 peddlers this season, as evidenced by his four pole positions to date. However, a series of issues for both drivers and team have left the crew requiring an unlikely set of circumstances to unfold at Donington if they’re to claim the crown.


“On raw pace across the season I think we’ve probably been the quickest pairing,” he confirmed. “But we’ve also collectively had too many issues and not scored consistently enough. We would have won at Brands Hatch without the Full Course Yellow, then our Rockingham weekend was compromised by Rick crashing on oil during practice. And it was my mistake that led to us non-scoring at Silverstone when second looked likely. You just can’t have that many problems and expect to win a British GT title - the level is too high.


“I think that’s why we’re so keen to go out on a high this weekend and take whatever final result we can. The championship’s out of our hands but we’d dearly love to win the final race. People tend to notice if you have a good end to the season.


“The car should also really suit Donington, which is similar to Silverstone where we were on pole. We’ve got the same BoP as then and have also tested there enough to know what the Bentley’s capable of.”


While victory might not be enough to give Morris the GT3 title this weekend, it will at least put him firmly on course to win this year’s Sunoco Whelen Challenge, which compares the performances of drivers competing across multiple series.


Morris, who currently leads the senior Sunoco standings, believes the prize - a fully funded seat with a leading prototype team at the 2017 Daytona 24 Hours - is something all young, professional drivers should be chasing.


“This was something I was very keen on at the start of the year and a big target of mine, and not just because it’s a cool prize!” confirmed Morris. “It’s a chance to race a different type of car but also get some 24 hour experience under your belt. It’s not something I’ve done before and held me back when looking for drives at Spa earlier this year. Teams and manufacturers value that experience in young drivers so if you can set yourself apart by having it on the CV, and especially if it doesn’t cost you anything, then it’s only going to benefit your career.


“So yeah, pole, fastest lap and victory this weekend would go a long way to setting a pretty decent benchmark score. Others can still beat it but will need to be almost perfect during their final few races. It’s something I’m really going for this weekend.”


Motors TV will broadcast live coverage of British GT’s #DoningtonDecider from 12:30 this Sunday.