Paul Morris clarifies the future of his RECs

Speedcafe.com

Tuesday 28th August, 2012 - 2:00am

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V8 Supercars team owner Paul Morris (centre) with DJR's operation manager Scott Jennings (right)

V8 Supercars team owner Paul Morris (centre) with DJR’s operation manager Scott Jennings (right)

Paul Morris has clarified the future of his Racing Entitlements Contracts, while confirming that he will continue his relationship with Dick Johnson Racing in 2013.

Morris, the owner of two RECs, has confirmed he will keep his entries separate next year, retaining his #49 at DJR next year.

Morris also confirmed that Steve Owen will remain as the driver of the #49 car.

His second REC, currently leased to Tekno Autosports and being raced by Michael Patrizi, will remain at Tekno. Under the terms of the lease deal, Tekno’s owner Steve Webb can continue to lease the REC in 2013, or buy it at the end of this year.

Steve Owen in the #49 VIP Petfoods Ford Falcon

Steve Owen in the #49 VIP Petfoods Ford Falcon

With DJR set to see Charlie Schwerkolt’s #18 REC move to FPR next year, there were incorrect reports circulating that Morris would move his REC from Tekno to DJR.

Morris confirmed his REC’s futures, plus his intent to retain his current arrangement with DJR.

“My REC that Webb has got, he has a lease on it for next year, or he has an option to buy it at the end of this year. Those are the facts,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s his call. If he want to buy it, he can.

“With my other REC, I intend to have DJR run it, just like the arrangement we have this year.

Steve Owen

Steve Owen

“The merger has worked really well. It’s a great fit. It has put me in a good space and allowed me to do what I want to do.

“I’ve been able to contribute to the team in a few areas, and they take advantage of that.”

Morris also confirmed that Owen will continue to drive the #49 Ford next year. While Owen and the team have endured a mixed season thus far, Morris praised Owen, stating that the #49 seat is his for as long as he wants.

“Yeah, definitely, Steve will be there,” Morris confirmed.

“He is our strike bowler at DJR at the moment. Obviously we want to be further up the field, but Steve is part of the package and he fits in well with everything we do. I’ve got his back as much as I have Dick’s and anyone else’s in the team.

“He can drive for me as long as he likes. If he wants to stay, he can. If gets something better and wants to leave, no problem. I’d prefer he stay, though.”

Owen admitted that 2012 has becoming a tough year for consistent results, but says that greener pasturers could be as close as 2013 and the implementation of the new Car of the Future technical regulations.

“Even though we’re not consistency in the top 10, I don’t believe there’s many better seats for me to be in,” Owen told Speedcafe.com.

“There’s two or three teams who are on top of their games at the front, but apart from that, I reckon DJR has as good a chance of landing on the grid next year with the new Car of the Future cars and be in a good chance from the word go.

“We have a good depth of engineering talent here. It’s great for me to have Paul as a spotter, driver coach and strategist, in conjunction with Blake Smith (engineer) who has been coming along well.

“I’m a big believer in longevity. If you chop and change teams, you have to start again, but I believe we have something here that we can build upon.”

As for the #49 car’s sponsorship package, Morris said that negotiations with VIP Petfoods have begun for 2013 and beyond.

Owen and Morris will drive together in the next two V8 Supercars events – the Dick Smith Sandown 500 and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

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