Sunday, 10 February 2013

Bathurst win 'blows away the cobwebs'!

Winning a race on debut at Australian motorsport's spiritual home, Mt Panorama, was an unexpected bonus for Nathan Morcom last weekend.

The 20 year-old Sydney driver had gone to the iconic venue with the main aim of learning its daunting 6.2km length on his first appearance. But he ended up taking the chequered flag!

Morcom was competing in the Formula Ford 1600 support races for the Bathurst 12-hour endurance event as a precursor to his next Mt Panorama start, which will be in a major national championship series (to be confirmed soon).

“Prior experience at any circuit is important, but especially at Mt Panorama because it’s a public road and you can’t practise there all year round,” he said. “So I took the opportunity to learn it before the national championship round.”

Despite his inexperience at Mt Panorama, and not having driven a Formula Ford for more than two years, Morcom qualified fifth fastest of the 31 FF1600 drivers. He finished second in the first two races, all the time improving his lap times as his experience increased.

In the third and final race, Nathan took the fight up to race leader Jonathan Venter. He grabbed the lead near the end of the fifth lap, in a daring move through The Chase.

It was perfect timing, because seconds after he crossed the Start/Finish line to begin the next lap, the Safety Car came out following a crash on another part of the circuit.

Morcom duly led the field around what turned out to be the final lap behind the Safety Car, taking the win! He capped off his victory with a fastest race lap that was more than eight-tenths of a second quicker than the next best driver's.

Afterwards he said that his primary goal was to prepare for his return visit to Mt Panorama, but the victory was a bonus.

“I wasn’t expecting to win this weekend, to be honest,” he said. “I mainly wanted to blow away the cobwebs and be confident driving here, because next time I’ll be in a faster car against some of Australia’s top drivers.

“At least I know the way around Mt Panorama now!”

Morcom thanked his sponsors - Rondo, Direct Plasterboard Outlet and Racer - for supporting his 2013 racing program.

RESULTS – FORMULA FORD 1600 RACE 3 (6 laps/37.3km)
1. Nathan Morcom (2008 Spirit)    22min. 36.5414sec.
2. Jonathan Venter (2011 Spirit)    22min. 38.3512sec.
3. Brett Francis (2002 Van Diemen)    22min. 38.6239sec.
Fastest race lap: Nathan Morcom (2min. 27.0062sec.)

DPO website
Rondo website

Good Publicity distributed the above news release to local, metropolitan and motorsport media outlets, and posted an edited version on Nathan's website and that of his principal sponsor Direct Plasterboard Outlet.