Morris streak continues in shortened Race 1
NASH MORRIS has survived an incident filled afternoon to claim a shortened opening race in Round 3 of the Dunlop Super3 Series in Townsville.
Starting from pole, Morris was slow away from the line and ceded the lead to a fast-starting Michael Anderson on the opening lap.
In fact, both drivers on the front-row were slow away with second-placed qualifier Blake Fardell also slipping backwards on the opening lap, dropping to seventh position.
Morris didn’t wait for long to get himself back in front, however, slipping past the series’ leader before the field crossed the line to complete the opening 2.8km, claiming a lead he’d never lose. Anderson applied pressure to the new leader, and while the battle was tight the series leader was unable to find his way past the similar FG Falcon.
The Safety Car was called on lap seven when Brendan Strong’s car expired between turns two and three.
Running fourth at the time, the Commodore driver reporting engine issues as the car trailed a plume of smoke and some debris on the run towards the turn three escape road.
Racing resumed following a brief Safety Car interruption with Morris leading Anderson and Reef McCarthy, who had climbed one spot from his qualifying effort.
Fardell had worked his way back to fourth position by the time the field went back to racing.
The battle continued following the restart, however the race was ultimately called on Lap 13 following a heavy multi-car crash within the Dunlop Super2 series ranks exiting Turn 3.
With five cars involved, Morris, Anderson and the Super3 pack were able to avoid the dramas, however the race was red flagged due to the carnage.
That left Morris on top to claim his second straight Dunlop Super3 Series race win, closing the margin to Anderson in the championship by 12 points – narrowing a 39-point margin to 27 heading into Sunday’s second race of the weekend.
McCarthy finished third to continue his podium streak, while Blake Fardell slipped from second on the grid to fourth at the finish.
Chris Smerdon finished fifth overall as he commenced his 50th V8 Touring Car / Super3 Round celebrations, while teammate Jason Gomersall finished just behind in sixth.
Strong, who made it seven laps, and Gary Collins – out after six – both failed to finish the race.
The Dunlop Super3 Series field returns tomorrow for the second and final race of the weekend: Qualifying to commence at 11:15am local time ahead of Race 2 – the sixth of the championship season – at 2:20pm.
Both races will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports.