While his team mate Tom Ingram was out front making all the headlines, Hillspeed driver Seb Morris was quietly starting to make a name for himself with his performances in Rounds 15 and 16 of the 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship at Knockhill. In his first ever visit to the circuit, a best ever finish of fourth place was the highlight of a superb weekend for the promising youngster.
At 14 years of age, Morris is the youngest driver on the entire BTCC package, but he hasn't let this fact faze him in a great first season of car racing so far. With Morris improving more and more at each meeting, he came north of the border in confident mood and it showed with a strong qualifying performance putting him seventh on the grid for the first of the weekends races.
After initially slipping a position to eighth, Morris set off on a determined drive up the order. After passing Maverick Domene for sixth on lap two, he went on the offensive again to pass Adam Bonham at the Hairpin on lap four for fifth. Quickly reeling David Moore in ahead, he recreated the pass at the Hairpin on lap eight for fourth. Despite his best efforts to try and sneak a podium finish, he remained in fourth, just a couple of seconds away from a possible maiden podium finish.
Morris lined up sixth on the grid for the weekends final race, aiming to replicate his superb drive from the earlier race. After a solid start, he began placing Tom Howard in fifth under immense pressure, gaining the place on lap three with arguably the pass of the race, a superb cut back at the tricky Duffus Dip. He soon caught onto Bonham's bootlid in fourth, passing him on lap 10 at the Hairpin, just like had in the previous race. He again set about chasing down the top three, but he soon reminded fans of his inexperience in racing, with the youngster pushing too hard, resulting in a spin. He recovered well though, ending the race in a solid ninth place.
With team mate Ingram picking up two wins to extend his advantage at the top of the standings, Morris' performances were the icing on the cake for a delighted Hillspeed team. Commenting on Morris' performance, Hillspeed's Richard Ollerenshaw said: “Seb has really grasped what he needs to do, he arrived at Knockhill with no experience of the track but instantly showed what he was capable of in testing and then again in qualifying, He did make a small mistake which cost him the chance to be fourth on the grid but seventh and sixth was still terrific.
“In the races he performed incredibly well, Seb was nothing short of exceptional this weekend and his fourth place in race one was very well deserved. It's a shame he made a mistake while trying to catch the top three in the second one but we can't complain about that, he's pushing hard and learning the limits – he did a great job.”
Morris is next in action in two weeks time for Round 17 and 18 of the Ginetta Junior Championship at Hillspeed's home circuit, Donnington Park. He will be hoping to build on his Knockhill experience and challenge for that elusive maiden podium.
Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography