Morrison moves up a gear

03 Apr

Paisley based racing driver Scott Morrison last weekend moved up a category to race in the Scottish Mini Cooper Cup at the first race of the season held at Scotland’s Knockhill racing circuit.


The 2007 Scottish Fiesta Newcomers Champion decided the time was right to progress up a championship after he had such a strong debut year in the Scottish Motor Racing scene last year.  Scott has again employed Paisley based motorsport specialists; Sime Racing & Engineering, to oversee his 2008 campaign.  Team owners Jimmy and Barry Sime have been kept busy in the off season sourcing a suitable Mini Cooper racecar for Scott to use and to ensure it complied with the Scottish Championship’s rules.


Morrison had his first taste of Mini Cooper power two weeks ago at an official test session at Knockhill and adapted well to the different driving style required.  Last weekend saw him back on track on the Saturday for a few more practise laps, before the official qualifying session early Sunday morning.  This decided the starting grid for race one and on a wet track Scott qualified a credible 8th out of the 17 cars entered on the first weekend of the season.


Sunday was the first time that the championship was running to a Touring Car style triple race format which crams plenty of on track action into racedays and Sunday was no different.  The distinctive FHM liveried Cooper made a great start in the first 8 lap race, held in damp conditions, and was soon up to 7th place.  Morrison held position for the remainder of the opening encounter, as did much of the top ten, most probably a case of the drivers aware that they had two more races left to run in this packed raceday!


The finishing positions of race one dictated the starting grid order for race two, and so Scott lined up 7th in what was now a pretty dry track in the early afternoon.  Despite making a good start, one of his contemporaries also making the move up from the Fiesta Championship (Andrew Winchester from Aberdeen) overtook Scott on lap one.  Scott picks up the story: “After being ahead of Andrew all weekend I was keen to get back past him as soon as possible.  I was perhaps just a little too eager as I hit a couple of kerbs on lap two while lining up an move and this damaged a driveshaft which meant no drive and race over!”.  Not only had the driveshaft failed, but it had also smashed the back of the engine, which meant it was just too much work involved to repair before the start of race three.


Barry Sime summarised the weekend: “Scott had settled in well and the championship is certainly going to be hotly contested amongst the top ten or so drivers.  It was extremely unfortunate for the driveshaft to break and cause the extra damage, as we had a spare engine with us ready to install – the way the timetable worked though time any major repairs were always going to be impossible.  We weren’t the only car who couldn’t make the third race, with others requiring gearbox repairs also absent form race three.  The foundations are set for a great season though and it’s a long road till the final round in October.”


The off season period was also busy for Sime Racing as they dominated a recent Scottish Motor Racing Club karting “friendly” where several Scottish racing drivers met, including champions of the Mini series, past and present, and resulted in Barry Sime coming out on top at the end of the night and Scott Morrison finish in third overall.  Barry commented: “It is great to blow the cobwebs off and make the competition sit up and take notice of Scott himself as a new and rapid addition to the series and of course for myself, proving to the competition that I’ve still got plenty of ability and experience to call upon that Scott can continue to benefit from”.  


The next race is the last weekend in April, again at Knockhill, with the triple race format – The team will be looking to bounce back at this event and get some more decent results on the board.  They will again be hosting representatives from some of the companies involved with Scott Morrison and Sime Racing, including Reid Kerr College.  The races will also be televised throughout the year on the Motors TV channel for anyone who wants to view the action and can’t make it to the events.

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